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    SPAR Child Okeford wins Countryside Alliance Best Village shop in South West

    The Countryside Alliance Awards celebrate rural businesses that go the extra mile, support their local economy and are the unsung heroes in every community.

    Dubbed the “Rural Oscars”, these awards have been a hallmark of the Countryside Alliance for 17 years, spotlighting outstanding rural businesses, products, and communities. Driven by public nominations, they showcase businesses recognised by their loyal shoppers for their exceptional contributions to their location. Considered the pinnacle of rural business recognition, the “Rural Oscars” instil a sense of pride and positivity, with participants at all levels proving the impact they have  on their  local communities.

    Thousands of nominations from across the UK were whittled down via public vote with not one but two SPAR stores in the South West making it through to the final few.

    SPAR Child Okeford has been voted The Best Village Shop and Post Office in the South West with SPAR Hawtree & Sons Riverside Garage taking the Highly Commended Village Shop & Post Office Award.

    SPAR Child Okeford wins Countryside Alliance Best Village shop in South West
    Andrew Stevenson-Hamilton

    “We are thrilled to have been voted the best village shop and post office in the South West of England,” said Andrew Stevenson-Hamilton, Store Owner at SPAR Child Okeford. “We are indebted to our loyal customers who came out in force to vote for us, in both the qualifying rounds and in the finals. 

    “The competition was very strong, and we have huge respect for all our fellow finalists. In particular I would like to congratulate fellow SPAR retailer – Hawtree and Sons Riverside and Garage, based in West Stour who received a Highly Commended entry in the village shop and post office category.. It says a great deal about the quality of the village shops in the north of Dorset that two village stores within eight miles of one another came first and second. 

    “Most of all I would like to thank the fabulous team who work at our shop, bakery and post office. Their dedication, good cheer, and hard work brought us to this point. 

    “We now look forward to the national awards in June when we will learn which shop from the eight regional winners, will be crowned the best village shop in the United Kingdom.”

    Alan Carcary, Business Development Manager from SPAR South West’s primary distributor Appleby Westward Ltd, added: “Congratulations to both teams at SPAR Child Okeford and Hawtree and Sons Riverside and Garage on this brilliant achievement. Nurturing neighbourhoods is hugely important to everyone at SPAR and these two stores do this in abundance.”

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