A family run, independent home and gift shop in Worcester has been named as Britain’s Best Small Shop of 2020.
Cornucopia, stocks iconic British brands such as Emma Bridgewater, Plum & Ashby and Repeat Repeat as well as products with a Danish influence that originated with the business founders, including luxury brands Dansk Smykkekunst, Bahne, Cozy Living and Broste Copenhagen.
During lockdown it opened a Trouva boutique online with owners Clare and Hannah Bishop taking products home from the shop and turning their garage into a distribution centre. This enabled them to focus on distributing products to customers all over the world as well as giving them the confidence and incentive to open their own online shop.
Clare Bishop, who owns Cornucopia with her daughter Hannah, said: “We just feel that customers really want a physical shop to come into. We like to display in a way that gives the customer an idea of what they could recreate at home. We have a tremendous team to help support us within the shop otherwise it just wouldn’t look the way it does. It involves lots of hard work but it’s really enjoyable and worthwhile.”
The Best Small Shops competition is managed by the Independent Retailers Confederation (IRC), whose member trade associations represent approximately 100,000 independent retailers throughout the UK between them. The competition celebrates the commitment and creativity of independent retailers on the UK’s High Streets and the central role they play in their local communities. It is sponsored by social media tech company Maybe*, an engagement platform that helps make social media work for independent retailers.
In their comments about Cornucopia, the judges said that they “loved their resilient approach combined with their community spirit. They are very active on social media and support other local and independent businesses and the wider community. They are active in initiatives that help drive footfall and are BID members. They understand that every place is the sum of its physical and digital parts.”
They commented that they really liked the efforts they went to maintain trading and open up new revenue streams during lockdown.
“Cornucopia is an innovation business that clearly worked hard during COVID19 to ensure the business both survived and thrived post-lockdown, activity engaging with the local business community and local people to benefit of the business.”
Other shortlisted retailers from across the region included:
Cawthornes, a family business in Nuneaton that has been trading since 1868, which supplies print, graphic design, office supplies and promotional gifts.
Sophie Sews, a soft furnishing shop in Horsell near Woking, which creates bespoke curtains, blinds and soft furnishings for clients.
Sound Records, a record shop in Stroud, which sells the best records of all genres from rock, jazz and funk to Latin, African and hip hop.
T.H. Burroughs, a family butcher and farm shop in Swindon, which was first established nearly eighty years ago and is now being managed by the family’s third generation.