Coffee roaster announces winner of first Coffee Shop of the Year Award


UK coffee roasting company, Lincoln & York, has announced the winner of its first Coffee Shop of the Year Award – The Watermark Cafe in Scarborough.

The nationwide award sought out the best cup of coffee served in the UK by an independent coffee shop. The competition is said to be the largest of its kind in the industry and was launched this year to provide support to retailers and the independent coffee shop marketplace.

Lincoln & York’s distributors were invited to nominate the coffee shop who they think produces the best cup of coffee for their customers. As well as the best cup of coffee, secret shoppers also assessed the shops for décor, ambience, staff attentiveness and added-value service. 

A total of 65 coffee shops were entered into the competition.

The Watermark Café in Scarborough is owned by Gillian Partridge and will receive £3,000 worth of vouchers to spend with its nominating distributor. The distributor also receives a £1,000 voucher to spend with Lincoln & York.   

Philip Binns from Seasons Coffee in Leeds proposed The Watermark Café.

Three runners will each win two places to attend a Lincoln & York City & Guilds Level 2 Barista Course includes. They are:

Henri, owned by Simon Lloyd in Edinburgh

Fresh Food Deli, owned by Annette Blanchard in Pocklington, East Yorkshire
The Coffee Hub, run by James Nixon in Manchester.

James Sweeting, Director and Co-founder, Lincoln & York, said: “We received a good number of entries into the competition, as coffee shops across the country look for recognition of their hard work and dedication to creating the perfect cup of coffee. We set the bar high and it is great to see the attention to detail and excellent service that is being consistently delivered to coffee lovers.
“It’s also brilliant to have both the overall winner and a finalist from the same region. Yorkshire has always been on the map for its tea but now we’re seeing somewhat of a u-turn with coffee taking the limelight.

“Being able to produce a high-quality end product within the marketplace has never been more important and we’re delighted with the quality we’ve observed during the judging process.  We continue to operate in tough market conditions and our award looks to acknowledge excellence and hard work of those who are doing everything they can for their customers.”

Gillian Partridge, co-owner of The Watermark Café, said: “It means so much to us, as both coffee-lovers and business owners, to win this award.  The hard work we put in day after day to bring the very best cup of coffee to our clients has been recognised and with the fantastic prize from Lincoln & York, we’re going to be able to make the product and overall coffee shop experience even better. It is great to have such an award in our sector as often us smaller independent coffee shops are overlooked.”