Dunmow resident is runner-up at the Telegraph Shop Awards 2009

PUBLISHED: 14:12 23 November 2009 | UPDATED: 07:28 30 May 2010

Charles Hardcastle Picture: SUBMITTED

Charles Hardcastle Picture: SUBMITTED

A DUNMOW resident has reached the final stages of a prestigious national retail competition. At a gala award ceremony held in Soho, West London last Tuesday, Joseph Barnes Wines of Saffron Walden – run by Charles Hardcastle who lives near Duton Hill –pick

A DUNMOW resident has reached the final stages of a prestigious national retail competition.

At a gala award ceremony held in Soho, West London last Tuesday, Joseph Barnes Wines of Saffron Walden - run by Charles Hardcastle who lives near Duton Hill -picked up second place at the Daily Telegraph Shop Awards in the closely-fought food and drink category. The eventual winner was Origin8 delicatessen from Cambridge.

The results were announced at a reception held at Quintessentially Soho in London's West End where Mr Hardcastle, who runs the business, received the congratulations of retail guru Mary Portas. She said: "What binds all the finalists together is the trust that we have in them as consumers. Trust is probably the most powerful thing we need in the world that's a rocky place."

Mr Hardcastle said "I am delighted to have become a finalist and eventual runner-up in our category. The Telegraph Awards is a very influential competition, inviting nominations from all over the county. This makes our achievement is all the more pleasing.

"It is also a vindication of our firmly held belief that the combination of superb wines, knowledgeable service and value for money is a winning one and is still enough to draw the consumer away from the supermarkets."

He added: "Of course, none of this would be possible without the support of our loyal customers and to them I extend my thanks and gratitude particularly to those who nominated us in the first place and to those who went on to vote for us."

The 2009 Telegraph Shop Awards were the biggest to date and gave the consumer the opportunity to reward those stores - from national and international chains to local independents - that are responding to today's challenges, and raising their game with better service, exceptional value for money, and an improved all-round shopping experience.

Joseph Barnes Wines, named after Mr Hardcastle's grandfather, has been trading in Saffron Walden for four years and in 2007 was Decanter Magazine's Independent Specialist Wine Merchant of the Year.

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