At the 2019 Newbury Weekly News’ Best in Business Awards, the Hungerford Bookshop came away not only with the category prize but also the overall award. Around 300 people attended the gala dinner at Newbury Racecourse on 1 November 2019.
We caught up with co-owners Emma and Alex Milne-White (in between hosing a Rick Stein book signing and sorting the publicity material for their next event on 26 November) to congratulate them and ask how it felt to be double winners.
“We were already delighted to win our category of ‘Best Independent’ at the event,” Emma said, “but to win the overall Best in Business prize as well was amazing. Since we won, it’s been lovely receiving so many congratulations from our customers and other business owners.
Penny Post won in our category in 2017 (just thought I’d drop that in) and there were, I remember, quite a bit of information to supply. That’s still the case, presumably? “Yes, it is,” Emma confirmed. “We had to answer a number of questions such as what makes our business different to others, our future plans and to describe how we engage with our customers. After we had been shortlisted we then had a visit from the judges where we spoke about our bookshop. We emphasised our role in the community, playing to our strengths and our new projects such as developing our range for readers with dyslexia, ‘BookYak’ evenings (authorless events where we share what we have been reading in a social environment) and a plan to create a bookshop crawl along the Great West Way.”
For more information on Hungerford Bookshop, visit the website or drop in to the shop at 24 Hungerford High Street.
There were nine different categories at this year’s awards. The Independent category was sponsored by Jones Robinson, and the ‘overall ‘Best in Business’ award was sponsored by Cobbs Farm Shop & Kitchen. The award was presented by the director of Greenham-based SAS Auctions and TV personality Thomas Forrester and Tom Newey from Cobbs Farm Shop & Kitchen.