A coffee shop in Diss took home the grand prize among the other big winners during a special council-run awards ceremony last week to commemorate south Norfolk’s independent retail businesses.
Mere Moments Coffee House earned the accolade of Independent Retailer of the Year 2015 at the first ever Independent Retailer Awards last Thursday, organised by South Norfolk Council and voted on by nearly 2,000 local residents.
The event, which took place at the council’s Long Stratton offices as part of the Market Town Conference, was set up to recognise local retailers in South Norfolk’s four market towns - Diss, Harleston, Loddon and Wymondham.
Sharon Loome, general manager at Mere Moments Coffee House said: “We were very surprised to win and were extremely pleased and grateful that so many of our customers voted for us.
“This competition is a brilliant way to highlight us small independent shops and we hope it gets more people visiting and shopping in Diss.
“It’s all thanks to our lovely customers. We have been open for seven years and built up a good base of regulars and we try to give them a warm welcome and treat them like friends.”
The café also walked away with two of the Diss-specific awards, winning in the categories of Service With A Smile and Shop I Couldn’t Live Without, while the third award, Best Window Display, went to Albright Of Diss, a crafts store in St Nicholas Street.
The Bullock Fair Charity Shop in Harleston was another of the success stories at the ceremony.
Set up to raise money for the East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA), East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH), and the All Hallows Hospital at Ditchingham, the Bullock Fair Close-based store completed a clean sweep of all three Harleston-specific awards.
South Norfolk Council leader John Fuller, who presented the awards, said: “Over the last 12 months, we’ve been supporting our shop keepers with advice and training, so here was an opportunity to showcase the range of independent outlets in our market towns and celebrate the excellent service that keeps shoppers coming back again and again.
“We have had an overwhelming response from our residents and local retailers who have really got behind these awards.”