Wantage’s popular independent butchers and a family-run gift shop that is celebrating its 3rd birthday in the town are among the winners of the 2014 Small Business Saturday Local Business Awards. Vincent Montgomery’s Butchers won the Exceptional Customer Service category, while Debbie Reiber-Hodgson’s Spoilt Silly won Best Shop Front. There were also wins for The Bear Hotel in the Best Restaurant category, and The Shoulder of Mutton in the Best Pub section. Four businesses were Highly Commended: Yummy Thai Restaurant, Umami (Best Shop Front category), The King Alfred’s Head (Best Pub) and Sarah Kerr’s Room For Beauty at K.A. Fitness on Grove Street (Exceptional Customer Service).

Best Pub

Peter Fowler, The Shoulder of Mutton (Best Pub)

Sponsored by Wantage & District Chamber of Commerce and organised by town team co-ordinator, Mim Norvell, the awards are a chance to recognise great local businesses and the work they do day-in-day-out. The awards are part of the district’s celebration of Small Business Saturday, and offered people chance to vote for their favourite Wantage and Grove business in four categories.

Wantage & District Chamber President, Gurmukh Randhawa, says: “The Wantage & District Chamber of Commerce is proud to work alongside Wantage Town Council and the Vale in continuing to support the success of the district. We have very few empty shops, and we’ve won the Town Centre category in the Great British High Street Awards for innovation, partnership working and the progress we’ve made. We’d like to congratulate the winners and to thank our residents for voting and for their continued support of our vibrant town centre and our local independents.”

Town Mayor, Fiona Roper, says: “We are proud to have a number of successful independents who continue to provide us with excellent customer service, products and services. The Small Business Saturday awards are a great way of recognising their achievements and thanking them for believing in Wantage. A big ‘Well Done’ to all the winners.”

Best Restaurant

Ali Rennie, management trainee, and Dylan Bettson, head chef, The Bear Hotel (Best Restaurant)

The four business award winners receive a certificate and a £50 voucher to be claimed against advertising/marketing costs. Wantage & Grove Loyalty Scheme members who completed the questionnaire were entered into a prize draw, and the winner – Ms E Joyce – will receive a £50 voucher to be spent with a local Loyalty Scheme business of her choice.

For more information about the loyalty scheme visit the website at: www.wantageandgroveloyalty.co.uk. Anyone wanting to join the scheme can buy a card for £2 from the business members listed.

Best Shop Front

Debbie Reiber-Hodgson, Spoilt Silly, (Best Shop Front)

Exceptional Customer Service

Vince Montgomery (Exceptional Customer Service)