So high was the standard of contenders for the Britain’s Best Cookshop Award in this year’s Britain’s Best Retailer Awards that two joint Gold winners were announced at the Awards dinner this week.
Artisan Cookshop of Truro opened last summer, realising Sam Parker’s dream of running her own business after 14 years of running other cookshops. The result was described on the night as “a truly exceptional cookshop”.
The second top Award went to Countryside Cookware of Kelso, opened in 2005, for successfully “serving an up-market audience with up-market kitchenware. The judges felt that owner Jane Andrew’s passion for the business shines through.”
The Britain’s Best Cookshop category named five winners in total – the other three walking off with Silver.
Camberley-based Kitchen Kapers “remains one of the most impressive cookshop operations in the UK, with a huge range supported by creative and highly-effective marketing”. Another Silver Award went to Marchant’s Cookware Emporium of Bury St Edmunds, which, in its Awards entry, described its strengths as “customer service, customer service, customer service, customer service”. The company has also just appointed a marketing assistant.
Also honoured was Salamander of Dorset, whose sales have increased tenfold over the past 15 years. The judges thought the shops “attractive, well lit and well merchandised, and the business has the right approach to recruiting and retaining top-flight staff”.
The Britain’s Best Cookshop Award was sponsored by Wade Ceramics.
Meanwhile, Hertfordshire business Colanders Cookshop walked away with a Silver Award in the Britain’s Best Retail Marketing category. The business had recognized the need to boost its marketing and launched a PR campaign to promote its website and unique kitchenware products through national media, getting high-profile coverage in titles like Sainsbury’s Magazine and the Daily Telegraph Magazine.