2017 Local
Business Awards

"Awesome", "Amazing", "Wonderful" - what customers are saying about the independent businesses recognised in our 2017 Local Business Awards

"…to win an award voted by our customers, is just such a great feeling"

Just how much the people of Wantage, Grove and neighbouring villages think of their local independent businesses is really clear from the comments sent in for our latest Town Team-Wantage & District Chamber Local Business Awards. The now annual awards, run by Wantage Town Team and supported by Wantage & District Chamber of Commerce to mark Small Business Saturday, gave people chance to vote for independent businesses in five categories.

Re-loved furniture, interiors and curiosities shop, Creations, won the Exceptional Customer Service – Shop Category with comments from customers like:

"The joy of walking around in there, and the talent in recycling items and bringing them back to life is awesome."

"The customer service has always been 100%. I've had courses with them which were fun, informative as well as being relaxed and welcoming. I've also had pieces of furniture commissioned and again service was above and beyond."

Category Highly Commended, Umami Delicatessen, was also the focus of a string of positive comments, like this one:

"Amazing food, something slightly different and tasty. Brilliant welcoming service. Child friendly. Everything about this place is delicious!"

People's Choice Restaurant winner was The Bear for the fourth year running – "Wonderful food and service in a really attractive environment", while The Swan was named People's Choice Pub – "Friendly staff, great live music events, massive choice of beers, ales, cocktails, wines, gins, rums; the list seems endless although we're doing our best to work through it."

Exceptional Customer Service – Non-Retail Category was won by local plumbing and heating specialists, PlumbWright – "Fabulous customer service, always there when you need them. Punctual and cheerful at all times. Very good quality workmanship."

Sarah Kerr's Room for Beauty on Grove Street, Wantage was the category's Highly Commended – "Sarah always makes each customer feel special and unique; she is excellent at her job, and goes out of her way to provide a top-class service."

Long-established local jewellers, Peter Casey, won the Mayor's Best Kept Shop Front award with Dolphin Art as Highly Commended.

The full winners and 'highly commended' list is:

Exceptional Customer Service – Shop Category
Winner: Creations
Highly Commended: Umami Delicatessen
Exceptional Customer Service – Non Retail Category
Winner: PlumbedWright
Highly Commended: Room for Beauty
People's Choice Restaurant
Winner: The Bear
Highly Commended: Yummy Thai Restaurant - "Great place with fabulous staff and atmosphere. The food is amazing."
People's Choice Pub
Winner: The Swan
Highly Commended: King Alfred's Head – "Nice friendly staff. Great range of larger and cider on tap. Good light bite menu if your peckish when drinking. Nice garden for summer. Good all-round place any day or time."
Mayor's Best Kept Shop Front
Winner: Peter Casey
Highly Commended: Dolphin Art

The five business award winners received a certificate and a £50 voucher to be claimed against advertising and/or marketing costs.

Simon Wood of Creations said: "As an independent business, Carrie and I at Creations simply love what we do, and we strive to offer a service that goes above and beyond the norm. So to win an award for 'Exceptional customer service', voted by our customers, is just such a great feeling. We're so proud and humbled to receive it. We look forward to seeing both old and new customers in the new year."

Winners of the Mayor's Best Kept Shop Front award, Peter Casey Jewellers, said: "Peter Casey and his staff were thrilled to hear that they had won the Mayor's award for the best kept shop front this year. The presentation and upkeep of our two shop frontages is a high priority for the team which they believe makes the high street a nicer environment for shoppers. We all need to do everything we can to encourage people to shop on their high streets rather than their computers."