Barwick store awards honour

NAWN 1809171AM1 Barwick in Elmet store.  Chris Bolton, Wendy Ward and Tim Ward of Barwick Village Store and Post Office,  (1809171AM1)
NAWN 1809171AM1 Barwick in Elmet store. Chris Bolton, Wendy Ward and Tim Ward of Barwick Village Store and Post Office, (1809171AM1)

Barwick-in-Elmet Post Office and village store is in the running for a top award this month after undergoing major work to turn it around.

The business, bought by Chris Bolton, 51, and Tim Ward, 53, in December 2016, is up for the Post Office Retailer of the Year category in the Retail Industry’s Awards at a glittering ceremony in London on September 27.

“We have been nominated by one of the suppliers and backed by our customers,” said Wendy Ward, 47, who works in the store with her husband Tim.

“We are one of only three to be shortlisted so, it is fabulous news.”

The shortlisting comes as reward for a number of moves to improve the business, including a complete refurbishment in September 2017 to provide an open plan Post Office counter and extending opening hours.

Wendy added: “The open plan counter allows staff to serve both the retail customers and the post office customers allowing us to extend the opening hours. The shop is open seven days a week from 6am to 8pm with the Post Office available seven days from 7.30am to 7.30pm.

And the refit included chillers for fresh food, grab and go food and wines and beers, a freezer, increasing the range of grocery and non food items.

“Since last year we have continued to expand our product range introducing locally sourced eggs, fresh meat and deli products including sandwich fillers,” added Wendy.

The Retail Industry’s Awards rewards are regarded as the Oscars of the grocery retail sector which reward excellence and achievement across a broad range of categories.

The whole industry gets together to recognise the smallest independent retailers alongside the largest supermarket groups.

“We are very proud of our shop and all we have achieved in less than two years,” added Wendy.

“We have had very positive feedback from our customers and pride ourselves on the shop’s community feel.

“We support local events including the NSPCC fair and the local beer festival and support the Barwick in Bloom team with their fabulous work.

“We can deliver to any of our customers that are unable to get to the shop and we have recently launched an out reach Post Office service to local villages that do not have a Post Office.”