The Guild of Fine Food’s annual Shop of the Year awards, an accreditation scheme which recognises and promotes excellence in independent retail, has announced its finalists for 2019. Rhug Estate Farm Shop is the only Welsh finalist in the running to win the Farm Shop of the Year Award.

Having had its written entry reviewed by a panel of respected industry experts, Rhug Estate Farm Shop has recently had a visit from one of the judges and will also receive a visit from a mystery shopper.

From the overall shopping experience and financial performance, to staff training opportunities and environmental initiatives, the panel of highly experienced judges will rate, score and provide feedback on every aspect of Rhug Estate Farm Shop before agreeing on an overall winner. The judges include Edward Berry of The Flying Fork; Stuart Gates, former managing director at Fortnum & Mason and senior buyer at Harrods; award-winning retailer, Tracey Colley and food writer, Patrick McGuigan.

Graham Webster, General Manager of Rhug Ltd, said, “We are absolutely delighted to have been chosen as a finalist in the Guild of Fine Food’s Shop of the Year Awards. We pride ourselves on our customer service in the Farm Shop and the success of Rhug is built on always trying to go that extra mile for our customers. As a dedicated team we are always striving to do better and that is how it should be.”

The Winner of the Guild of Fine Food’s Shop of the Year Award 2019 will be announced on Monday, 11 March, when the world of fine food get together at Fodder Farm Shop and Café in Harrogate.

This year’s Guild of Fine Food Award categories include:

· Delicatessen & Grocer

· Specialist Cheese Shop

· Farm Shop (farmer owned)

· Food Hall

· Specialist food or drink shop

· Newcomer (to be awarded to any entrant in categories 1-5 who has been trading less than 24 months

Just two businesses from Wales have been announced as finalists. As well as Rhug Estate Farm Shop being shortlisted in the Farm Shop (farmer owned) category, the other Welsh finalist is the Vale of Glamorgan-based cheese shop, Fauvette, which has been shortlisted for the Specialist Cheese Shop category of the Awards.