InExeter is proud to reveal Exeter’s winning independent businesses as voted for by members of the public in this year’s Summer of Independents competition.
The shortlisted five businesses, as voted by the public, across the three competition categories Food and Drink, Services and Retail were shortlisted and visited by a mystery shopper. Following that visit, a judging panel chose the Independent Business of the Year for each category based on the mystery shopper evidence & original submissions from members of the public.
Joanne Caine, managing director of Cathedral Appointments and a judge on the Summer of Independents panel said; “I was delighted to be asked to take part in this campaign. Exeter’s independent offering continues to go from strength to strength and to be able to showcase even a handful of the city’s most loved indies through this campaign is fantastic. It was great to read through the voters’ comments and really get a feel for how much love there is in Exeter for the independent businesses out there.”
Owen Richards, managing director of Air Marketing Group and founder of local buying campaign Tribe said: “We were blown away with both the quality of the businesses in the top five shortlists and the voters’ obvious passion for these businesses. Choosing only three winners was a tough challenge, but the three businesses to have won the 2019 Summer of Independents competition are a great reflection of Exeter’s vibrant independent scene.”
The 2019 Summer of Independent winners are:
The judges said: “The sheer number of votes from the public made Monty’s Beads stand out: the owners’ knowledge, passion and commitment to customer service also shone through.”
With a huge vote from the public and overwhelmingly positive feedback from the mystery shopper Monty’s Beads topped the retail category. Equipped with a jewellery making studio, Monty’s Beads host regular workshops to help budding jewellery makers hone their skills – from traditional silversmithing to bead stringing and even stone setting. The workshops are a hit with customers as they can choose their jewels and stones and make a beautiful one-off piece of jewellery.
The team at Monty’s also carry out professional jewellery repairs on-site as well as providing a stone drilling and cutting service.
The judges said: “Roots Foundation is a fantastic example of a business with a unique offering, adding to the city’s vibrant indie community and drawing people into the city.”
Focusing on quality and ethics, The Roots Foundation provide expert barber services for everyone, regardless of your age, gender, background or the music you love dancing to on a Saturday night.
With a range of truly unique products, they offer exceptional haircuts, tailored beard care and luxurious hot-towel shaves, creating the style you want in a welcoming and inspiring setting.
Their Exeter barber shop is also a social space, providing opportunities for the local community to engage with artists, makers, doers and social movements in our area and beyond.
The judges said: “From brilliant management, to a fun, colourful and engaging environment and the tastiest chocolate in town, Chococo was a hands-down winner of the food and drink category”
Handmade in Dorset, Chococo craft fine luxury chocolates with origin chocolate made from the highest quality cocoa beans, and local, seasonal ingredients (with no additives, preservatives or added sugar), so they are truly handmade, handpacked and delivered fresh. Chococo have won over
70 fine food awards over the years including most recently, 3 World medals at the International Chocolate Awards! The Gandy Street store offers a menu which includes Tideford Organic soups, toasties, savoury scones, cakes, and of course, lots of chocolate.
Ann Hunter, InExeter Manager said; “Exeter has a thriving independent offer with a huge breadth of of boutiques, creative and artisan makers, gifts shops, professional services, venues as well as cafes and restaurants; independent businesses are what make Exeter stand out from other cities in the South West.”
She continues: “Thank you to everyone that took part in the Summer of Independents campaign. There is so much amazing support for Exeter’s independent businesses please do keeping shopping locally and supporting our businesses”