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Foodie Friday: Best Independent Food/Drink Retailer

A celebration of the best of Coventry and Warwickshire’s food and drink scene is at the heart of a new awards program designed to support businesses as they re-emerge from lockdown.

The first Foodie Awards 2021, in partnership with Visit Coventry, lists among its guest judges Birmingham-born Michelin star chef Glyn Purnell and chef-turned-restaurateur Andreas Antona, founder of The Cross in Kenilworth.

Click here to read more about the judges. Entries are open now ahead of a finalists’ night on January 25th at the city’s new Telegraph Hotel – and a ceremony in May.

Judges and public votes will decide on winners in several categories that focus on quality, service and innovation with an emphasis on farm to fork, including best artisan food and drink producers, farm shop, independent food and drink retailer, newcomer, street food trader and chef or cook of the year.

Three further special awards will also recognise the extraordinary efforts of businesses and individuals throughout the coronavirus pandemic – including the COVID-19 Resilience Award sponsored by Visit Coventry and The Godiva Award, sponsored by Coventry BID. The Foodie Awards will also be raising money for The Trussell Trust network of eight foodbanks in Coventry and Warwickshire.

The next category under the spotlight on is Independent Food/Drink Retailer.

This award recognises the importance of independent businesses. The winner will be an independent food or drink retailer whose innovative products, excellent customer service, and popularity within the local community and beyond has seen it stand up to the chains and provide that ‘something special’ that food and drink lovers are looking for.

Judges will be looking for somewhere that really stands out, offering quality products, great service and a unique ‘personality’ that plays a part in its success.

Foodies co-organiser and food and drink blogger Ellen Manning, said: “The challenges that 2020 has brought have seen independent food and drink retailers really step up when it comes to looking after customers.

Food and drink is something that many of us have clung on to not just for necessity, but for comfort, and food and drink retailers across Warwickshire have been there every step of the way to make sure we’ve got everything we need, as well as the things that put a smile on our face.

“From the retailers selling essentials to those keeping us stocked up on flour for our baking, spices for our kitchen experiments and wine for that Friday night in, those often unsung heroes of the retail scene have been showcased for the diverse, personal and passionate offering that they bring. It’s great to be able to applaud them for being there for customers when it mattered most.”

For a full list of categories plus information on how to enter or become a sponsor, visit