Much loved gift shop wins competition to find Exeter’s best independent business
Hyde + Seek has been crowned Exeter’s Independent Business of the Year by Exeter Business Improvement District (BID). The Summer of Independents competition was launched on 4th July to celebrate the very best of the city’s independently run shops, restaurants, cafes and businesses. A staggering 1,658 people voted for 117 Exeter “indies” during the competition which saw a broad range of businesses nominated by their customers for the chance to win the top accolade: Independent Business of the Year 2017. Chocolatier, Choccie Bar in Gandy Street and V&M Hair in Little Castle Street each received highly commended status having secured second and third place respectively.
Ten businesses were shortlisted from the public vote: Hyde & Seek, Choccie Bar, V&M Hair, No guts no glory (NGNG), Chococo, Ferns, The Real Food Store, Bunyip Craft, John Gandys and Healthy Pulses. Each business was visited by a mystery shopper and assessed against a comprehensive set of criteria. Finally, the results of the public vote and the mystery shopper’s reports were evaluated by the competition’s judges, business leaders and Exeter BID Board members: Helen Scholes, Marketing Manager for Stagecoach South West and Wayne Pearce, Chairman of the Board and Centre Director of Princesshay.
Wayne Pearce said: “Congratulations to our winner, Hyde + Seek! It was clear from the number of votes, the comments left by voters as well as our mystery shopper’s report that this fantastic independent business is a firm favourite, offering a wonderful array of products in a welcoming environment and with superb customer service. We are delighted with the response to this our first Summer of Independents competition. Our goal was to champion the diversity of Exeter’s retail and business scene and to encourage visitors and residents to explore more of our wonderful city. We’d like to thank all the independent businesses that supported the campaign and helped to promote it.”
Justine Hyde of Hyde + Seek said: ‘All the team at Hyde + Seek are over the moon to have won the Exeter BID Summer of Independents 2017 competition! We are totally proud and delighted to be recognised by our wonderful customers and just want to say a huge thank you to everyone for voting and believing in us! We look forward to working alongside all the fabulous independent businesses in Exeter to continue to make our city a wonderful and diverse capital city!’