A Bristol-based deli with a reputation for incredible cakes and superb takeaway dishes, cooked on site, has been named as Britain’s Best Small Shop of 2019.
Papadeli stocks a selection of foods from local producers and further across Europe and claims one of the best cheese counters in the city. Also on offer is the legendary Papadeli plate of salads, cheeses, pickles, breads, charcuterie and delicious coffee or tea. Shelves are laden with olive oils, balsamics, store cupboard ingredients as well as handmade artisan chocolates, biscuits and treats. The shop gives cookery demonstrations at a local school, and supports a number of local charities.
The winner was announced at an event hosted by the Independent Retailers Confederation at the Houses of Parliament on the 5th of November. The deli was named as the winner from a shortlist of 25 retailers. The runners-up were named as Bookish, an independent bookshop in Crickhowell, Powys, and The Recycled Candle Company, a small shop in Exeter that sells candles made from recycled wax. Cavanagh & Baker, a shop in Shanklin, Isle of Wight, that stocks everything from fine arts to country wines, and Small Stuff UK, a shop in Sheffield that specialises in ethical and eco-conscious lifestyle products and clothing for small children, were highly commended by the judges.
Speaking after receiving the award, Papadeli owner Simon MacDonnell said: “We are very honoured and excited to have won this award and I think our regular customers will be proud and happy for us. We have been going for 18 years, starting as a deli, opened a cafe and we also have a cookery school and an outside catering service. Our ground floor shop is a food and wine retailer and an emporium for anything you might want to get in terms of a food treat.”
The Best Small Shops competition is managed by the Independent Retailers Confederation (IRC). The competition celebrates the commitment and creativity of independent retailers on the UK’s High Streets and the central role they play in their local communities. It is sponsored by Near St, the retail technology company connecting products in shops to people searching nearby, and booost, a soon to be launched loyalty, gift and promotions app for independent retailers and their customers.
Speaking at the event, Meryl Halls, Vice Chair of the Independent Retailers Confederation, said: “It is great to be able to celebrate the lifeblood of our high streets, our independent retailers, especially at this time of uncertainty and discord. The role of an independent retailer can seem like a thankless task but they are nothing if not survivors. Small shop owners employ local people and contribute to local communities and we are so pleased to have been able to showcase the best of independent retailing and give a vision of how engaging and exciting our high streets can be.”