Retailer of the Year Winners 2023

Source: William Reed

(l-r) Co-chair of judges Nigel Barden, James Cunningham, co-chair of judges Elaine Lemm and Christopher Cunningham

County Down’s Cunningham Butchers has been crowned Retailer of the Year in the 2023 Farm Shop & Deli Retailer Awards.

The Kilkeel business – which comprises a butchery, food hall and steak house – took the top spot in a competition contested by many of the UK’s best specialist food and drink retailers.

Judges praised Cunningham for demonstrating strong and steady growth while becoming an important part of its local community.

In light of the award’s focus on retaining, rewarding and empowering staff, one judge highlighted Cunningham’s apprenticeship scheme with a local training college, that led to five apprentices gaining full-time employment.

Read more: How Cunningham’s has built its butchery business into the County Down community

Cunningham’s title and the other Retailer Award winners were announced this week at the Farm Shop & Deli Show in Birmingham’s NEC.

The Newcomer of the Year award went to Flourish Foodhall & Kitchen in Bristol, with one judge declaring: “If you were going to open a business and put people at the heart of it this would be the inspiration. The values and ideas are fantastic and the branding is spot on.”

Read more: Business with a Flourish: how Cotswold Fayre expanded into retail

After much deliberation and secret visits, the Best in Region, Newcomer of the Year and overall Retailer of the Year winners were announced to a live audience on Tuesday 25 April. See the full list of regional winners below. 

“For yet another year, our judges had a difficult task drawing up the regional shortlists and winners for this year’s Farm Shop & Deli Retailer Awards, as there was an outstanding number of submissions from across the UK,” said chair of judges Nigel Barden.

“There were some remarkable entries reflecting how these resourceful and diligent entrants care about their businesses and their staff. It truly was a privilege to read about them and celebrate them at the winners announcement.” 

Farm Shop & Deli Retailer Awards regional winners

  • East Anglia (Large) - The Goat Shed Farm Shop & Kitchen, Norwich
  • East Anglia (Small) - The Prospects Trust Unwrapped, Ely
  • Midlands (Large) - Canalside Farm, Shop & Café, Great Haywood
  • Midlands (Small) - Broad Bean Delicatessen, Ludlow
  • North East (Large) - Yolk Farm, York
  • North East (Small) - George & Joseph Cheesemongers, Leeds
  • Northern Ireland (Large) - Cunningham Butchers, Kilkeel
  • Northern Ireland (Small) - Millar Meats & Fine Foods, Irvinestown
  • North West (Large) - Bells Fishmongers, Carlisle
  • North West (Small) - Chorlton Cheesemongers, Manchester
  • Scotland (Large) - The House of Bruar, Perth
  • Scotland (Small) - KJ’s Bothy Bakery, Grantown-on-Spey
  • South East (Large) - Macknade Food Hall, Faversham
  • South East (Small) - The Kitchen Food Company, Oxford
  • South West - Great Cornish Food Store, Truro
  • Wales - Forage Farm Shop & Kitchen, Cowbridge