Shop of the Year announced this week

mmm glug shop of the year 2018 finals

Grainger Street-based mmm… and glug… is one of just ten shops across the UK to make it to this week’s Guild of Fine Food’s 2018 Shop of the Year awards.

Judges from the guild, which recognises excellence in independent retail, recently visited the Newcastle store and carried out mystery shopping exercises, before announcing their overall winner in London this Thursday evening.

Owner Simone Clarkin, is delighted to be recognised for such a prestigious award, especially at a time when independent high street shops face pressure from supermarkets and out of town retailers.

She said: “When we originally opened our Grainger Market store back in 2008 we wanted to get people in the north east and beyond to think about what they eat and drink – and where it comes from.

“Over the past ten years, we have expanded twice within the Grainger Market and then in late 2017 into the city centre – all done during a climate of huge retail uncertainty.

“It is great to know that our efforts to provide great food and drink, and hopefully even greater customer service and advice to shoppers, has helped us reach this stage.

“We really hope that our ethos of being there to provide easy access to good food and drink to the region can help us to bring this prestigious award back the north east.

The Guild’s judges, which included 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, have rated and scored mmm… and glug… before agreeing to a winner.

This Thursday (20 September), the judging will reach an exciting finale when Simone Clarkin and others from the world of fine food gather at the Guild of Fine Food’s London base, to find out the winner of Shop of the Year 2018.

mmm… and glug… expanded its business with a move to larger headquarters in Newcastle city centre in late 2017 and plans to launch a ‘click and collect’ online shop, demo kitchen and event space in early 2019.

Earlier this year mmm… and glug… came out top in North East and Cumbria in the prestigious RateBeer.com awards.

The awards to breweries, pubs and retailers, sees beer lovers from dozens of countries rate their favourite tipples and where they buy or drink them.

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Sign up for news about our food, drink and tasting events …

mmm… and glug… in UK Shop of the Year finals

mmm glug shop of the year 2018 finals

mmm… and glug… is one of a handful of grocery shops across the UK to make it to the finals of the Guild of Fine Food’s 2018 Shop of the Year awards.

Shop of the Year mmm glug logoJudges from the guild, which recognises and promotes excellence in independent retail, will visit the Newcastle store and carry out a series of mystery shopping exercises, before announcing the overall winner in September.

Owner Simone Clarkin, is delighted to be recognised for such a prestigious award, especially at a time when independent high street shops face pressure from supermarkets and out of town retailers.

She said: “When we originally opened our Grainger Market store back in 2008 we wanted to get people in the north east and beyond to think about what they eat and drink – and where it comes from.

“Over the past ten years, we have expanded twice within the Grainger Market and then in late 2017 into the city centre – all done during a climate of huge retail uncertainty.

“It is great to know that our efforts to provide great food and drink, and hopefully even greater customer service and advice to shoppers has helped us reach this stage.

“We really hope that our ethos of being there to provide easy access to good food and drink to the region can help us to bring this prestigious award back the north east.

The Guild’s panel of highly experienced 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 mmm… and glug… before agreeing to a winner.

On Thursday, 20 September, Shop of the Year 2018 will reach an exciting finale when the world of fine food gathers at the Guild of Fine Food’s London base, to find out the winners of Shop of the Year 2018.

mmm… and glug… expanded its business with a move to larger headquarters in Newcastle city centre in late 2017 and plans to launch a ‘click and collect’ online shop during its tenth year in business.

Earlier this year mmm… and glug… came out top in North East and Cumbria in the prestigious RateBeer.com awards.

The awards to breweries, pubs and retailers, sees beer lovers from dozens of countries rate their favourite tipples and where they buy or drink them.

Want to know more?

Sign up for news about our food, drink and tasting events …

Ananda’s Gourmet spice kits at mmm… and glug…

Ananda's Gourmet spice kitsThis Saturday (17 February 2018) we are holding a free tasting of Ananda’s Gourmet Indian curry spice kits at mmm… and glug…, with Indian-brewed beers to match.

Ananda’s spice packs are pre-mixed and perfectly proportioned to recreate the authentic flavours of India.

Each kit has its own shopping list (for any fresh ingredients) and an easy-to-follow recipe inside.

Ananda will be tasting her:

  • Paneer Masala
  • Hyderabadi Lamb Korma
  • Goan Prawn Curry
  • Indi Burgers.

We will also have the full selection of Ananda’s vegetarian, chicken, lamb and fish spice kits for you to choose from.

White Rhino Brewing Co.

We will also be tasting our new ‘White Rhino’ Indian-brewed IPA and lager on the day (over 18s only).

White Rhino Brewing Co, India’s first craft brewery, was set up by a team 
of young brewers with the aim of bringing both quality and variety to the Indian beer market.

Their goal was to make 
beer for India that would stand up to an international standard.

Want to know more?

Other tasting events at mmm… and glug… (all from 1pm)

  • Friday, 2 March – Spanish Cava tasting: Taste our amazing Villarnau Cava (Hint: ahead of Mother’s Day)
  • Saturday, 16 June – Firebrick Brewery tasting: Taste Firebrick’s Blaydon-brewed beers and sort the perfect Father’s Day gift.

Expansion to Grainger Street is our recipe for success

Sintons Solicitors at mmm... and glug...

A North East artisan food and drink retailer, which sources products from around the world and has amassed a following across the UK and beyond, is targeting expansion through a move to Grainger Street and the launch of its online shop.

mmm glug stamp logo Grainger Streetmmm…and glug…was established in Newcastle in 2008 and has grown into one of the most highly-esteemed independent food and drink brands of its kind.

It attracts customers from across the country and earning name-checks in books by celebrity chefs, including Thomasina Miers

The business, based in the city’s Grainger Market, has earned fame in foodie circles for its commitment to sourcing the highest quality produce from suppliers around the world.

It is now known for being the go-to place for the most unusual of ingredients, and has a loyal and sizeable following both among its customer base and on social media.

Run by Simone and Ian Clarkin, mmm…and glug… – which started out in 2008, is now moving to a two-floor 1,500 sq ft retail unit on nearby Grainger Street.

This will allow it to have its own shop front on one of Newcastle’s busiest streets and dictate its own opening hours.

The move comes at a time of development for the business, as it introduces a ‘click and collect’ service for customers and online mail order to allow it to look at international trade.

Spanish paprika at mmm... Grainger Streetmmm…and glug…have also launched a range of its own-label spice mixes and cooking ingredients.

mmm…and glug…has been built by passionate foodies Simone and Ian, who have assembled a five-strong team who share their love of quality food and drink.

Simone’s background in sourcing fine food and wines from continental suppliers, coupled with Ian’s expertise in marketing – which has seen mmm…glug…named as one of the most influential independent businesses on Twitter – has proved a recipe for success.

Simone said: “This is a very exciting time for us, moving into our own shop on Grainger Street and having the freedom that comes with that is something we have wanted for some time.

“The Grainger Market has been a fantastic place to be, but we are delighted with the start of our new chapter.

“Our ethos is we source high-quality food and drink from independent producers wherever they are in the world, and strive to build long-term relationships with both our customers and suppliers.

“We do stock products from the North East and we source from Spain, Italy, France, America, we look across the whole world to get the quality we know our customers will want.”

Ian, who initially was ‘Saturday boy’ with mmm…glug…before joining his wife full time, said: “We have customers who come to us from as far afield as Liverpool and Manchester and even afield.

“Through the launch of online ordering in the near future we hope we will become accessible to people across the UK and even internationally.

Thomasina Miers at mmm... Grainger Street“Our customers are fantastic and are the biggest advocates of what we do.

Thomasina Miers first became aware of us when she remarked how difficult it was to find some cooking ingredients; one of our customers got in touch with her to tell her about us.

“Since then, she has mentioned us in her cookbooks and even held a book launch here.”

mmm…and glug…have been supported in its expansion by law firm Sintons, with Head of Licensing Sarah Smith and Laura Peace, Partner in the Real Estate team, both acting in the transaction.

Sarah Smith said: “Newcastle enjoys a reputation as a vibrant and diverse leisure venue which attracts people from across the whole UK.

“mmm…and glug…is another example of something special we have here which again puts the North East on a national scale.

“Its reputation for its quality and variety of produce is well known far beyond this region.

“And the platform it has created on social media has also helped it to stand out in the very competitive culinary marketplace.

“We wish Simone and Ian luck in their new home for mmm…and glug…on Grainger Street and every success as they continue to grow and develop the business.”

Pictured (courtesy of Sintons Law and David Wood Photographer above: left to right –  Simone Clarkin; Sarah Smith and Laura Peace, Sintons and Ian Clarkin.

Want to know more before we move to Grainger Street?

Free events at mmm… and glug… (all from 1pm)

  • Saturday, 3 June: Flashhouse Brewing meet the brewer – come and taste Jack O’Keefe’s latest North Shields-brewed ales, including his new chocolate coffee stout
  • Saturday, 16 June: Firebrick Brewery meet the brewer – looking for a Father’s Day gift? Our Blaydon-based brewery will help you find the perfect bottles for him to enjoy.
  • Patagonian wine tasting (date tbc)
  • Summer fruit beer tasting (date tbc)
  • Ooft! meet the maker – come and taste hot Scotch Bonnet pepper and smoky chipotle sauces (date tbc)
  • Meet the Hogarth honey bees – come and meet 10,000 of our honey making bees and taste this year’s summer honey (date tbc)
  • Click and collect at mmm… and glug… To find out more sign up for news below.

Find us

Find us

You can find us at 10-13 Grainger Arcade, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 5QF – the large-glassed area of the Grainger Market where the cafes, flower shops and plant stalls are.

We are directly opposite the rather lovely Pumphreys Coffee Brew Bar (where you can get the best espresso and cappuccino in the UK – officially) .

The nearest entrances to mmm… and glug… are directly opposite T*sco (we can’t bring ourselves to say the full T word) on Clayton Street or opposite Wilkinsons on Nun Street.

We are open and licensed on:

  • Monday – 9am until 5pm
  • Tuesday – 9am until 5.30pm
  • Wednesday – 9am until 5pm
  • Thursday – 9am until 5.30pm
  • Friday – 9am until 5.30pm
  • Saturday – 9am until 5.30pm
  • Sunday – sadly we are closed on a Sunday (we wish we weren’t but the whole market is closed – but we do live in hope …)

Get in touch

Please note: You must be over 18 in the UK, or above the legal drinking age in the country you reside in, to purchase and consume alcohol.