Arthur Nets a Hat-Trick at National Food Awards Event
We’ve all heard of that expression “third time lucky” haven’t we? And that other one about good things “coming in threes”?
Well it really has been a case of third time lucky for me this week – and good things really have come in threes!
For the past two years I have been named East Anglian Champion at the Farm Shop & Deli Awards Show.
The show, which attracts thousands of food producers, suppliers and retailers from all over the country, is held at Birmingham’s NEC, and winning this regional award has made me very proud.
This year I managed to land the award for the third year in succession, and was also named Butcher of the Year 2016 by the show’s judges, who are led by Nigel Barden, the resident chef on Simon Mayo’s BBC Radio Two ‘Drive Time’ programme.
But as if that wasn’t enough I also won the hugely prestigious overall award for Retailer of the Year 2016, the show’s most glittering trophy!
I can’t begin to tell you how shocked and surprised I was to win the main prize, in fact I was so shocked I was rendered momentarily speechless.
I think my wife Liz, my daughter Alex and my future son-in-law Alex Smith thought I had been struck dumb when I went up to receive the coveted winner’s chopping board from Nigel.
Luckily I just about managed to regain my composure in time to thank the judges, but I was so genuinely stunned at my good fortune that my acceptance speech consisted of me repeating the words “thank you” over and over again!
Hopefully everyone present will have realised that my temporary inability to speak properly was down to authentic surprise.
The Farm Shop & Deli Awards celebrate the very best standards in the UK’s independent, specialist retail market and they’re something I’m proud to be associated with.
Over 350 entries were received this year and with the competition getting tougher every 12 months I had no expectations of winning anything this time around.
Being named East Anglian Champion for the past two years was a huge feather in my cap and I’d have been chuffed to bits just to replicate that again for 2016.
Learning I had completed my hat-trick was immensely satisfying and landing Butcher of the Year as well really put the icing on the cake for me.
I had just about got my breath back by the time they got around to announcing the big overall award so when they said I was the winner of that too I was literally speechless.
I can’t adequately describe what an honour it is to win this award and I hope it helps further cement north Norfolk on the map as an area of outstanding local produce and quality food retailing.
I’d like to pay tribute to my family for all their hard work, my customers for their loyalty, and also to my staff, without whose dedication and professionalism this wouldn’t have been possible.