Businesses from across Chester city centre came together for a glittering awards ceremony at Chester Cathedral this week as the winners of the 2016 CH1ChesterBID Customer Service Awards were announced.
The awards, held on Tuesday (18 October), followed the success of last year’s inaugural event with a range of independent retailers, restaurants, professional service firms, bars and coffee shops recognised across eleven different categories.
In a twist to last year’s format, the general public were asked to nominate their favourite city centre stores this year and more than 1,500 votes were received. The top three businesses in each category were put through to a final shortlist and the winners were then determined by a mystery-shopping visit from an independent retail expert.
The big winner on the night was Build a Bear Workshop, which scooped two awards including ‘Best Small Retailer’ and the ‘Best of Grosvenor Shopping Centre’ award.
Other winners included Marmalade, which was named ‘Best Coffee Shop”. Fresh cosmetics store Lush was crowned winner in the ‘Health and Beauty’ category and Barclays was presented with the ‘Best Professional Service’ award.
Vintage toyshop, Weasel & The Bug, took home the ‘Best Independent Retailer’ award whilst Gregg’s was recognised as the ‘Best Food on the Go’ business. Upstairs at the Grill was crowned “Best Restaurant’ and the ‘Best Leisure and Lifestyle’ award went to travel agents, Deva Travel.
Debenhams was named ‘Best Large Retailer’, Bar Lounge was presented with ‘Best Pub/Club/Bar’ and the ‘Outstanding BID Member’ accolade went to cosmetics firm, Molton Brown.
BID Manager at CH1ChesterBID, Carl Critchlow, said: “These awards give us the chance to celebrate the outstanding contributions our local businesses make to Chester city centre and to recognise the exceptional customer service they provide customers all year round.
“Providing a personalised service and a memorable experience is what stands our high street above many others and encourages people to visit again and again. There were some outstanding scores across all of the categories this year and our local businesses should be tremendously proud of their achievements.”
The full list of winners and shortlisted businesses was as follows:
Best Coffee Shop
Nominated: Jaunty Goat, Marmalade, Mad Hatters Tearoom & Bakery
Best Food on the Go
Nominated: Greggs, Wok & Go, The York Roast Co.
Best of Grosvenor Shopping Centre
Nominated: Build-a-Bear Workshop, Boodles, Loake
Winner: Build-a-Bear Workshop
Best Health & Beauty
Nominated: The Body Shop, Boots, Lush
Best Independent Retailer
Nominated: Corks Out, Diane Harbridge Bridal Couture, Weasel & The Bug
Winner: Weasel & The Bug
Best Large Retailer (21 employees or more)
Nominated: Debenhams, M&S, Wilko
Best Leisure & Lifestyle
Nominated: The Chester Grosvenor, Deva Travel, KingKabs
Winner: Deva Travel
Best Professional Service
Nominated: Barclays, HSBC, Natwest
Nominated: Bar Lounge, Ginger, Liquor & Co.
Winner: Bar Lounge
Nominated: Atina Kitchen, Upstairs at the Grill, Urbano 32
Winner: Upstairs at the Grill
Best Small Retailer (20 employees or less)
Nominated: Disney Store, Schuh, Build-a-Bear Workshop
Winner: Build-a-Bear Workshop
Outstanding BID Member
Winner: Molton Brown