December 5, 2019 @ 15:45 by Steven Hugill
An award-winning fishmonger, café and deli business has been shortlisted for another industry title.
Latimer’s Seafood Limited is a finalist in the Guild of Fine Food’s Shop of the Year Awards 2020.
The Whitburn business is one of seven retailers in the specialist food or drink shop category, having beaten off competition from independent retailers across the UK and Ireland.
The shortlisting adds to Latimer’s already strong reputation, which was previously enhanced by winning the BBC Radio 4 best local retailer award.
Ailsa Latimer, co-director, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to be a finalist and are enjoying the moment of being recognised in this way with six other excellent independent retailers.
“We still have two further very challenging hurdles to overcome – the mystery shopper and a face-to-face visit from a discerning expert panel of judges – but to get this far is fantastic.”
Latimer’s written entry was reviewed by a panel of four highly decorated industry connoisseurs, including food and drink consultant Edward Berry; Stuart Gates, a former managing director at Fortnum and Mason and senior buyer at Harrods; award-winning retailer Tracey Colley and best-selling food writer Patrick McGuigan.
Founder Robert Latimer added: “Latimer’s has been trading since 2002 and has transformed from a well-known local fishmonger with a staff of two to a thriving deli and café business that now employs 30 staff.
“We have great online community engagement through all our active social media channels and we often harness this by undertaking campaigns such as Reward for Claude and Claude Abroad to help raise awareness of the massive benefits of recruiting people with autism and autism related conditions into the workplace.”
Latimer’s will find out if it has been successful at a finals event in March next year at Fodder Farm Shop and Café, based in Harrogate.