Last year, the Farm Shop & Deli Retailer Awards had more than 100 nominees from Scotland, but they are hoping to beat that amount for 2022.
Their entries are open until Friday and they are asking customers to recommend their favourite butcher, baker, cheesemonger, deli, farm shop, fishmonger, food hall, greengrocer, online shop or village store. Retailers can nominate themselves and the shortlist will then go on to be judged by a team that is chaired by food and drink broadcaster and chef Nigel Barden.
The Scottish winner for 2021 was Pro Fish Services, which operates fish vans, delivered to remote areas during lockdown, and have a shop in Myrtlefield Shopping Centre, Aviemore.
Also commended were modern farm shop Balgove Larder in St Andrews, Provender Brown Deli in Perth, The Crieff Food Company, which has a butchery, bakery and cafe, and The Spud Hut, which offers seasonal vegetables at Westerton Farmers, Laurencekirk.
For 2022, this award’s organisers are hoping to find businesses that have been innovative in adapting to the challenges of the past couple of years, and who may have supported eco-friendly initiatives, like reducing food waste, changing packaging to greener alternatives or introducing more sustainable suppliers, along with going the extra mile for their customers and neighbourhood during the pandemic.
Awards organiser Antonia Green said: “Local food and drink retailers are often at the heart of communities, and we want to recognise the hard work and dedication they have given during such challenging times.
"We are encouraging as many people as possible to help put their local stores on the map by telling us about the amazing speciality food businesses they have in their area. Your quick nomination could lead to them winning the Best in Region title.”
Along with the other awards, the winners of the Scottish category and eight other regions will be revealed live at the ninth annual trade event that is the Farm Shop & Deli Show, which takes place at the NEC Birmingham on Monday, April 25. Those who nominate their favourite business online will also be in with a chance of winning a Fortnum & Mason hamper.