A specialist teashop, cafe and tea retailer in Carmarthen, a cheese shop set in the historic castle village of Rhuddlan and an independent bookshop in Crickhowell have been named on the shortlist of retailers in the running to be named Britain’s Best Small Shop of 2019.
Tea Traders stocks over 100 loose-leaf teas, as well as quality tea wares, tea gifts, and Welsh crafts. The cafe also provides training and employment for young adults with learning disabilities. It is always looking for ways to engage, surprise and reward customers, and to encourage more people to visit the town, regularly creating themed window displays to promote town and community events including the town's annual river festival and amateur theatre shows.
The Little Cheesemonger is a cheese shop set in the historic castle village of Rhuddlan in North Wales. It stocks cheese from tiny local producers like a seasonal Ewe’s raw milk cheese that melts like an ice cream at room temperature, right over to nutty hard cheese with aged crunchy bits from sandstone caves in Switzerland.
Bookish, a carefully curated independent bookshop in Crickhowell, Powys, is a community hub running five book clubs, over 100 events annually, the Crickhowell Literary Festival and Childrens Book Festivals, a monthly cinema club and providing a home for weekly community groups.
The Best Small Shops competition is managed by the Independent Retailers Confederation (IRC). The competition celebrates the commitment and creativity of independent retailers on the UK’s High Streets and the central role they play in their local communities. It is sponsored by Near St, the retail technology company connecting products in shops to people searching nearby, and booost, a soon to be launched loyalty, gift and promotions app for independent retailers and their customers. The winner will be announced at an event at the Houses of Parliament on November 5th.
“Independent retailers are the lifeblood of UK high streets,” explains Mark Walmsley, Chairman of the Independent Retailers Confederation. They offer tradition, choice and innovation through the diversity of niche products and services. Independent retailers have been, and still are, an integral part of local communities all around the UK.”
“The Best Small Shops competition enables us to celebrate this unique industry. It is all about recognising the community and culture that is independent retail, giving us the chance to highlight its innovation, customer service, commitment to community and diversity.”