Cheltenham Shop Named Best in the Country

Cheltenham

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The Award

Bath Road Beers, the independent beer shop, in Cheltenham was last week named the Independent Beer Retailer of the Year for the whole of the UK.

The prestigious Drinks Retailing Award was presented to manager Jake Doherty and Co-Owner Andrew Coates at the Dorchester Hotel London, in front of an audience that included the likes of M&S, Waitrose and Harvey Nichols.

Bath Road Beers is owned by two former students of the University of Gloucestershire, and now fully adopted Cheltonians, who set up a company that is solely invested in the drinks industry.

Co Owner, Will Coates said “After leaving corporate life in 2017 we started a consultancy business from our homes in Cheltenham. We love the consultancy but needed to express our creative marketing backgrounds, and a year later decided to scratch that creative itch, building something tangible based on an idea I’d had for some time around an experiential beer venture in Cheltenham. When I floated this by Andrew Coates my business partner (and no relation), he was instantly sold.”

Bath Road Beers Shop

“We set out with the mission of creating a community based business, we wanted to offer exceptional customer service on top of standout product, in a space that was inclusive to the take away / gift shopper or someone who was out for a beer with mates. We have over 400 beers, ciders and wines in the shop and we felt the experience of choosing something special to buy needed to be as enjoyable as consuming the product." said Will.

“It’s no secret that the High Street is under pressure and people said we were mad to open a retail proposition, so we needed a reason to exist that was beyond just a transaction (and our dream). We opened in June 2018, and we’ve been blessed with THE best customers and suppliers ever since. People just seem to smile as they come through the door, in what many describe as “a sweet shop for adults”

Andrew Coates added, “We’ve worked hard to stick to our vision of being part of the local community that is a great place to relax and hang out.  Alongside selling beers, ciders and wines we have a number of community based activities / clubs including running, home brewing and role play games and we also run tasting events as well as pop up kitchens which are really popular."

Award Criteria

"Following the awards, we found out that the judging criteria was not only based on the shop’s product offering but also that customer service was scored over a 12 month period by mystery shoppers and this really drove home how lucky we are to have an amazing passionate manager and super engaged team who all genuinely care."

I am SO pleased with the award, I feel like a school kid who heard his first joke!  It brings a smile to my face every time I think about it. There are so many more events and ideas planned for this year, so hopefully this accolade will help boost our reach and enable us to spread the word further,”  said Will Coates.

The award has been amazing for the whole team and the reaction of our customers has made it all the more special.  Our customers have been amazing, sending us cards, popping in to congratulate us and our social feeds are going wild,” said Andrew Coates

The Right Team

Co-owner Andrew Coates highlighted, “It was vital that in order to make our vision work we had to find the right team.  I found Jake Doherty before we opened through an industry referral – he was a tremendous cultural fit for us and even spent most of May sanding the hundreds of scaffold planks that would make up the stores shelving and counter.”

“I’m really pleased with the people we have in the team,” Jake added, “ It’s important that we brought people who could showcase their own passion and enthusiasm, and wanted to work with creative and thoughtful people who believed in our vision as strongly as we do, whilst also being confident enough to deliver their own ideas. We are lucky to have people in the team such as Lee Fraser who brings creative visual flair and attention to detail that is second to none and Amelia Leonard, a Business Student at the University of Gloucestershire, who has not only brought commercial acumen but also single handedly set up a Tasting Society for the University who meet weekly in the shop!”

Our Customers, Celebration Party

Jake Doherty said “It’s a great place to work because the shop appeals to a broad range of customers across generations. I think this is partly due to our vision for offering great beer, service and experience and a team who are passionate, knowledgeable and are always ready to help our customers whether looking for a gift, wanting to learn about the newest beer trends or simply here for a chat and to chill with a drink."

To celebrate the award with our customers we will be hosting a small event on Saturday 15th February which can be seen on our social channels.

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More details about Cheltenham Shop Named Best in the Country (External Link)

 

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