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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mmm… and glug… best RateBeer retailer in region

Simone Clarkin mmm glug - Ratebeer award 1

mmm… and glug… has been named as the best place to buy craft beer 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.

mmm glug Firebrick Brewer RateBeermmm… and glug… owner Simone Clarkin is delighted to have been recognised in the awards, which many see as the most accurate source for beer information in the world.

She said: “We are so pleased that beer drinkers from the region and beyond have taken the time to rate the bottles and cans they bought from us, as well as praising our beer knowledge and customer service.

“The award is also a testament to the many great craft breweries we have worked with in the North East for over five years to constantly bring beers that our customers want to enjoy.

“We are always looking to find new ales and to organise events where people can meet the brewers who make their favourite tipples.

“Our congratulations also go to Newcastle’s Bacchus and Bridge Tavern, named as the region’s best pub and brewpub respectively in the RateBeer awards – very worthy winners indeed.”

mmm… and glug… is set to celebrate its tenth birthday this May, after moving to its 1,500 square foot Grainger Street store in late 2017 from the Grainger Market.

As well as over 300 different bottles and cans on its shelves, the store sells small producer wines, spirits and a wealth of international food ingredients.

With over 30,000 followers on social media the store is also set to launch an online ‘click and collect’ and delivery website in 2018, as well as an event and tasting space.

mmm… and glug…, which opened in 2008, stocks locally produced food and drink and supports more than 200 small food and drink producers and distributors from the north east and beyond.

About RateBeer

Since May 2000, RateBeer has remained an active forum for beer lovers to come together and share opinions of beers, and beer retailers in a free environment.

Established and maintained by dedicated volunteers, RateBeer has become the premier resource for consumer-driven beer ratings.

It also hosts features on beer culture and industry events, weekly beer-related editorials, and the internationally recognized, annual RateBeer Best competition.

A vibrant community of hundreds of thousands of members from more than 100 countries have rated hundreds of thousands of different beers around the world.

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