WHAT A YEAR THAT WAS! BUT NOW IT’S TIME TO HAND OVER THE MANTLE
I Well, all good things come to an end.
It’s been an absolute privilege being Retailer of the Year 2016 for the Farm Shop & Deli Show Awards.
Winning the award last April was one of the proudest moments of my professional life and came as a genuine shock.
I’d won the regional award for East Anglia the previous two years running, so when I made it an unexpected hat-trick I thought that would be the end of my lucky streak.
So nothing could have prepared me for being named the FSD Show’s Butcher of the Year to boot – and when I was announced as Retailer of the Year I was utterly stunned.
Receiving the award from Nigel Barden on that wonderful day just over 12 months ago, with my wife Liz, daughter Alex and son-in-law to be, also Alex, looking on, was hugely humbling.
You can imagine my delight and further pride when Nigel and his team asked me to join them on the judging panel for the 2017 awards earlier this year.
But to be asked me to hand over the big prize to my successor at last month’s awards ceremony at Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre was a huge honour.
The 2017 winners – Keelhams Farm Shop from Thornton, near Bradford, were worthy recipients.
I knew exactly how shocked, proud and delighted owner Victoria Robertshaw felt as I handed her the famous winners’ chopping board with the name of her business carved into it.
Watched by hundreds of onlookers, I told her to make the most of it, to shout about the award all year long and to get the FSDA logo plastered all over her vehicles, shop and merchandise.
Thank you Farm Shop & Deli Awards people, it’s been a ball!