Whalley Wine Shop wins top national award

Tom Jones, of Whalley Wine Shop, winning the Independent Drinks Retailer of the Year 2012 award, presented by wine expert and TV presenter Olly Smith (left)).

Tom Jones, of Whalley Wine Shop, winning the Independent Drinks Retailer of the Year 2012 award, presented by wine expert and TV presenter Olly Smith (left)).

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INDEPENDENT wine retailer The Whalley Wine Shop is celebrating after winning a prestigious national Drinks Retailing Award.

At a ceremony at the Dorchester Hotel in Park Lane, London, The Whalley Wine Shop was named as “Independent Drinks Retailer of the Year 2012”. Its young owner, Tom Jones, was presented the award by wine expert and TV presenter Olly Smith.

This was the first year The Whalley Wine Shop has entered the awards, organised by national trade publication Off Licence News, competing against well-established retailers from right across the UK. The Drinks Retailing Awards is one of the trades’ biggest highlights. Each year they bring together the leading lights in retail to recognise innovation and best practice across the sector.

Winning such an award is a remarkable achievement for The Whalley Wine Shop, given that it has only been open for 22 months and Tom is just 26 years old.

The former Clitheroe Royal Grammar School pupil opened the shop after being made redundant on Christmas Eve 2009 when the Threshers off-licence chain collapsed. With Tom’s knowledge, vision and innovation, The Whalley Wine Shop is now a vibrant quality wine merchant and his hard work has been recognised by the industry.

Tom said: “ We went down to London more in hope than expectation as we are just the new kids on the block and we were up against some quality retailers. I was gobsmacked when they called our name out!

“Now that it’s sunk in, I’m absolutely delighted. We’ve worked hard to create a fresh new generation of wine shop, with new ideas and innovations like our ‘By The Glass’ service, where customers can buy wine and drink it in the shop.

“But most of all we’re proud to bring this award back to the Ribble Valley for our customers. The support we’ve had from the area, especially the people of Whalley, has been incredible, and in true ‘Oscars’ style, we dedicate this award to them!”