To mark Small Business Saturday on 7 December 2013, local people have given their verdict on the very best independent businesses in the Wantage and Grove area.

The Local Business Awards asked people to choose the business that had provided the most exceptional customer service and which restaurants and pubs were their favourites. Nominations were also made to the Mayor of Wantage, Fiona Roper, for her consideration in the Best Kept Shop Front category.

The winners were:

Exceptional Customer Service:
1st: tfd Health & Fitness, Highly Commended: Montgomery’s Butchers
Best Restaurant in Wantage:
1st: The Bear, Highly Commended: Yummy’s Thai Restaurant
Best Pub in Wantage:
1st: King Alfred’s Head, Highly Commended: The Lamb
Best Kept Shop Front:
1st: Dolphin Gallery, Highly Commended: LIFEstyle

The Local Business Awards were launched for the first time this year to both reward the best independents for their contribution and to highlight the great range of local retailers, pubs and restaurants, and other town and village centre businesses.

The winners were presented with their certificates by Wantage Town Mayor Fiona Roper and the President of Wantage & District Chamber of Commerce Gurmukh Randhawa at a special ceremony during ‘Small Business Saturday’ on Saturday 7 December. The prize for winners includes a £50 voucher to be redeemed against marketing costs for their business. One lucky Wantage & Grove loyalty card holder will also receive a £50 shopping voucher to be spent with a loyalty member of their choice.

Gurmukh Randhawa, President of Wantage & District Chamber of Commerce, said: “The Wantage and District Chamber of Commerce is proud to sponsor the Local Business Awards. It’s great to be part of a national campaign to recognise the best of the best locally. Wantage and Grove have a great many independents and they deserve to be recognised for their exceptional customer service by none other than the local people that either use their services or shop with them. May our local independents continue to prosper!”

Cllr Fiona Roper, Mayor of Wantage, said: “These awards recognise the vibrant nature of our town. The support that the local community has given to our recent initiatives to promote businesses in the Wantage and Grove area has been fantastic.”

Cllr Elaine Ware, Cabinet Member for Economy, Leisure and Property at Vale of White Horse District Council, said: “Congratulations to those businesses that pick up the awards and made such a great impression with the public. This scheme really helps to highlight what’s great about the town and serve as an example for others to follow.”

Best Kept Shop Front Dolphin Gallery

Mayor’s Choice Best Kept Shop Front
1st Place – Dolphin Gallery – Pictured are Patrick O’Leary, Janet Naish & Claudia Surrage
Highly Commended – LifeSTYLE

Best Restaurant The Bear

Best Restaurant in Wantage
1st Place – The Bear – Pictured are Dylan Bettson & Ellie Walkley
Highly Commended – Yummy’s Thai Restaurant

Exceptional Customer Service tfd Health and Fitness

Exceptional Customer Service:
1st Place – tfd Health & Fitness – Pictured are Lisa Auchinvole & Sarah Bellis
Highly Commended – Montgomery’s Butchers

Best Pub King Alfred's Head

Best Pub in Wantage
1st Place – King Alfred’s Head – Pictured are Michael Karbowski & Kate Leeke
Highly Commended – The Lamb