We are thrilled to announce that Slate has been shortlisted in The Guild of Fine Food's Shop of the Year awards 2018. Across four categories, 42 independent retailers have made the list and we are flying the flag for Suffolk!

We are in the running for Best Specialist Cheese Shop in the UK with two further rounds of judging before the results are announced in September. We look forward to welcoming one of the Guild's industry expert judges to our Aldeburgh shop soon and we'll be trying to see through the disguise of the mystery shopper who visits!

What are the awards?

The Guild of Fine Food’s annual Shop of the Year awards is an accreditation scheme which recognises and promotes excellence in independent retail.

Previously forming part of the Great Taste accreditation scheme, Shop of the Year has evolved to apply an even more rigorous and robust judging process dedicated solely to retail. Celebrating delis, farm shops, cheesemongers and more, Shop of the Year offers independent retailers a chance to achieve a stamp of approval with real integrity, much like Great Taste does for food and drink products.

From overall shopping experience and financial performance to staff training opportunities and environmental initiatives, the panel of judges, which includes Edward Berry of The Flying Fork, Stuart Gates, who has worked for both Harrods and Fortnum & Mason, award-winning retailer Tracey Colley and Georgina Mason from Gonalston Farm Shop, will rate, score and feedback on every aspect of the shops before agreeing on an overall category winner.

What next?

Having had a written entry reviewed by a panel of respected industry experts, Slate will now undergo two further rounds of judging this summer; an announced visit from one of the judges and a mystery shop by Shopper’s Anonymous.

When are the winners announced?

On Thursday 20 September, Shop of the Year 2018 will reach an exciting finale when the world of fine food gathers at No. 42 Southwark Street, the Guild of Fine Food’s London base, to find out the winners of Best Delicatessen; Best Farm Shop or Garden Centre with Food Hall; Best Grocer, Village or Community Shop; as well as Best Specialist Cheese Shop.