Deli is named best in Scotland

The Billington's team
The Billington's team

A popular delicatessen has been named the best in the country by a panel of expert judges in a nationwide competition.

After receiving more than 350 entries from across the UK, the 12 category winners and the nine regional winners of the Farm Shop & Deli Awards 2016 were revealed at a ceremony in Birmingham earlier this month.

Billington’s Delicatessen, owned by couple Mark and Sue Billington, were one of the big winners on the night of the awards, which is held in partnership with Olives Et Al.

They landed the coveted Regional 2016 Scotland Award at the third annual awards, which recognise the best specialist independent retailers in the UK.

They celebrate the highest levels of service, product knowledge, initiative, innovation and community involvement offered by these businesses across the UK.

The awards were judged by a team of experts from the world of speciality retail, fine food and food media, including managing director of Fabulous Food & Drink Jon May, Co Founder and CEO of Olives Et Al Giles Henschel, and Speciality Food magazine editor Ross Gilfillan.

Shortlisted entrants were chosen, before judges carried out a series of undercover visits to see them in action before selecting the category winners.

Mark and Sue said: “We are absolutely delighted and totally surprised.

“We think the business is all about the community and the way we interact with them - we can’t wait to take the award back to Scotland and celebrate with the rest of our fantastic team.”

Food and Drink journalist Nigel Barden, the chairman of the judges, said: “The entries this year were outstanding – judging becomes harder every year.

“I think what stands out the most from the businesses we visited this year was a passion for customer service and continued innovation.

“There are some very driven and talented food retailers in Britain and they deserve to be recognised.”