Village shop named best in Britain after giving judges food for thought

The Hunters of Helmsley store
The Hunters of Helmsley store
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A VILLAGE shop in North Yorkshire has won a national award

Hunters of Helmsley has been named Britain’s Best Small Shop at a House of Commons ceremony, having been selected from hundreds of entries.

Chris and Christine Garnett, owners of Hunters of Helmsley, named as Britain's best small shop.

Chris and Christine Garnett, owners of Hunters of Helmsley, named as Britain's best small shop.

The North Yorkshire deli, which this year celebrates its 25th anniversary, was first shortlisted in the top 20, before being named as the overall winner. The Best Small Shops Competition was run by the All Party Parliamentary Small Shops Group and administered by the Independent Retailers’ Confederation.

Chris and Christine Garnett, the husband and wife team who have owned Hunters of Helmsley since 2008, attended the event and accepted the award from Simon Danczuk, MP.

The deli impressed the judges with its commitment to supporting local producers and suppliers, an innovative approach to partnerships and social media and the key role the retailer played in setting up the Helmsley in Business group.

Mrs Garnett said: “We were delighted to make the final 20, so to be announced overall winner was just unbelievable – I don’t think either of us quite took it in when they said it was us.

“All of the finalists were inspirational. It was great having the opportunity to meet them, and they should be very proud of their businesses. We just love what we do – we work very hard, but finding and sharing the best food and drink is our passion, and so we’re very lucky.

“We have an excellent team working with us, and we just want to thank them for everything they do, along with thanking the wider Helmsley community. It’s a great place to be based, and the business network is so supportive of each other. As far as we’re concerned we’re a town full of Britain’s best small shops.”

Helmsley is one of three North Yorkshire communities judged among the top ten best places to live. Runswick Bay and Welburn were also selected for combining desirable features such as a community spirit, good local shops and services, as well as access to some of Britain’s most attractive outdoor spaces.