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Leeds village shop up for retail ‘Oscar’

Barwick Village Store and Post Office.
Barwick Village Store and Post Office.
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A popular village post office in Leeds which has evolved into a community hub has been named a finalist in the Retail Industry Awards 2018.

Barwick Village Store and Post Office has been shortlisted in the ‘post officer retailer of the year’ category at the national awards, dubbed the retail industry ‘Oscars’.

Winners will be announced at a glitzy ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane in London on Thursday.

The store’s new owners, Chris Bolton and Tim Ward, took over in 2016 and in October last year embarked on an extensive refurbishment. It now sells fresh, chilled food, frozen food, freshly baked bread, pies and quiches as well as cards and stationery and is open seven days a week.

Tim’s wife Wendy said they were “highly delighted and so proud” to be shortlisted in the awards.

“We’re proud of what we have done with the shop. Previously it was pretty run down and didn’t support the community but since the refurbishment we’ve been getting such positive feedback. It’s become a real community place - people come for the paper and for a chat. We’re basically what you imagine a village store to be. We’ve started up an outreach post office service to go around the local villages which don’t have a post office. We want to expand that to help more villages. We want to expand deliveries to the elderly who can’t get to us. There are all sorts of things we’re trying to do, to be a community store that supplies the things that people want to buy and supports local people. “

Londis, on Woodhouse Street, has also been shortlisted in two categories at the awards - ‘frozen food retailer of the year’ and ‘independent retailer of the year’.