Hawkesbury Stores has been announced as a regional champion in the Countryside Alliance Awards!

South-West-_-Village-Shop-Post-Office-Champion-1024x1024The Awards, nicknamed the ‘Rural Oscars’, are the Countryside Alliance’s annual celebration of British food & farming, enterprise and heritage through our small hard-working businesses. The awards are now in their thirteenth year and have become the definitive rural business award to win. They are set apart from other award schemes because they are driven by public nomination, offering customers the chance to say why their favourite businesses are worthy of national acclaim.

After being notified of the award scheme by a shareholder, the Stores team invited our customers to nominate us in the village shop category. After receiving a large number of nominations, we made it to the regional finals – along with France Lane Farm, in the Food and Drink category.

This double-whammy for Hawkesbury was reported in the Gazette in December.

Then, as the snow began to fall one day in February, a judge from the Countryside Alliance visited the Stores. He was impressed with the story of how our community pulled together to bring the shop to fruition and make it a success, with the powerful and heartfelt messages of support stimulated by our recent customer survey, and with our range of locally-sourced products.

But even though we thought the judging visit had gone well, we were surprised and utterly delighted to receive a large envelope in the post just before Easter. In it we found a certificate announcing us as the south west’s best village shop, two special winners’ aprons, and an invitation to the national finals at the House of Lords in late April!

So keep your fingers crossed for the team at the grand finals – imagine how exciting it would be to bring the national crown back to Hawkesbury!

More information about the awards can be found here: www.countryside-alliance.org/campaigns/caawards/