Tom’s shop is a corker!

Tom Jones, proprietor of The Whalley Wine Shop
Tom Jones, proprietor of The Whalley Wine Shop

Independent wine retailer The Whalley Wine Shop has been shortlisted in two categories in the Drinks Retailing Awards 2012.

This is the first year The Whalley Wine Shop has entered the awards and has been shortlisted in the Independent Wine Retailer of the Year and the Independent Drinks Retailer of the Year categories.

Organised by trade publication Off Licence News, the glittering awards ceremony will take place at London’s famous Dorchester Hotel on February 7th next year, where the results will be announced.

The Whalley Wine Shop is the only retailer to represent the north in its categories and will go head to head with independent wine merchants in St Albans, Oxford, Cambridge and Ludlow. Owner of the Whalley shop, 26-year-old Tom Jones, an ex Clitheroe Grammar School pupil, was made redundant on Christmas Eve 2009 when the Threshers off-licence chain collapsed. With Tom’s knowledge, vision and innovation, just 16 months later the store has been completely transformed into a quality wine merchants and his hard work has now been recognised by the wine industry.

Tom said: “We’ve only been trading for over a year, so we are delighted to have been shortlisted for these great national awards, which not only recognises our range of wines but also our customer service and innovation.

“We managed to turn around a closed Thresher shop into a contemporary fresh new generation of wine shops which is now very much part of the local community. We’ve had fabulous support from the people of Whalley, our customers are amazing!”

Following the initial shortlist, each retailer is visited by an independent judge in order to verify the standard of retailing. Judges will be looking for winners who can act as an inspiration to the rest of the drinks trade, have demonstrated that they have worked hard to understand their market and have a service that rises above the norm. Once all the store visits are completed the judge then reports his findings back to a final judging panel where the winners are decided.