This category covers entrants from both online and traditional retailers. Credit will be given to businesses who are championing a rural theme or who are basing their businesses in a rural location. We will consider the contribution the business has made to the rural economy. The winners will represent the country’s finest rural retail businesses. The winning business will be able to clearly demonstrate the following:
• Strong business ethics and financial competency
• A sustainable business strategy
• A clear understanding of the market and customers to whom the business is selling
• How their rural location or rural theme positively impacts their business
• Uniqueness in offering – what sets the business apart from the competition
• Links with local communities and businesses for the benefit of all
Best Rural Social Enterprise, Charity or Community Project
The Sustainability and Environmental Impact Award
Best Rural Retail Business Winners
When Arthur ‘Sam’ Musgrove bought a cottage with a small plot of land on the Somerset Levels for £100, he could not have imagined that nearly 100 years and four generations later, Musgrove Willows would be supplying willow and willow products to customers the world over. Today, Musgrove Willows grow over 60 varieties of willow on 180 plus acres of farmland. The team pride themselves on the fact that they grow, process and weave willow in house to make willow coffins & other willow products in a sustainable way. They also offer willow weaving courses and strive to keep traditional weaving skills alive.
Tiny Box Company
Tiny Box Company is an eco-friendly and ethical wholesaler of recycled and recyclable gift packaging. They offer cost-effective but stylish gift packaging containers for jewellery, presentation boxes and accessories. They are also able to provide foil printed, embossed boxes to fit the branding needs of all small businesses. Tiny Box Company believes that style should not be compromised when making ethical packaging choices. Rachel Watkyn founded Tiny Box Company after searching, without success, for eco-friendly packaging to house her Fairtrade jewellery range and discovered a huge demand and gap in the market for it.
Best Rural Retail Business Finalists
Mackenzies Farm Shop and Smokehouse
Nestled at the foot of the Nidderdale Moorland in North Yorkshire, Mackenzies Farm Shop and Smokehouse has provided the surrounding area with high quality local produce for over twenty years. From their very own smoked fish, meats and pates to their famous Sunday Roasts they are known for being a great destination where local, quality food and customer service prevails. Mackenzies Farm Shop and Smokehouse work with the local rural community to source produce and pride themselves on choosing rural partners who share their love for the countryside, high standards and good wholesome food.
Newbridge Tack and Feeds
Newbridge Tack and Feeds is a small, family run business based in the outskirts of Skegness that stocks feeds, supplies and clothing for equestrians, smallholders, large -scale farmers, hobbyists and pet owners. They serve the local and wider communities both in the store based on the family farm and online, offering collection and delivery options to all customers. Newbridge Tack and Feeds focus on providing their customers with affordable goods and services. They also offer a range of farm services to the local community such as hay making and muck trailer hire.
OLPRO is a leading brand that specialises in ‘STAND OUT’ outdoor leisure products for adventurers, including campervan awnings, tents, canopies, windbreaks, melamine, outdoor clothing & general equipment. The business began trading in 2011 after seeing a gap in the market for unique, affordable and stylish camping and campervan products. All OLPRO products are designed in-house and manufactured overseas, with marketing, outward logistics and customer service done by the OLPRO team. As a thriving e-commerce company based in a rural part of Worcestershire, OLPRO has become a retail success story with sales consistently increasing each year, despite the UK’s wider struggles in retail.
Organik Orangutan is an online retail business selling handmade organic, artisan soap and skincare with a particular focus on ensuring products are plastic free, sustainable and eco-friendly. All Organik Orangutan soaps and skincare are naturally enriched with organic oils and butters whilst being palm oil free, cruelty free, Fairtrade and kind to the environment. They are coloured only by natural ingredients which makes them suitable for the most sensitive of skins. Organik Orangutan also run workshops in person and online, teaching people how to make soap and skincare safely, helping more people to live a plastic free and sustainable lifestyle.