Chesterfield has crowned its best high street businesses, individuals, market stall traders and events of 2020.
Independent womenswear retailer, Dotique has taken the top title of Retailer of the Year in the 2020 Chesterfield High Street Awards. Judges described Dotique as ‘a fantastic business that always gives back to the community.’
In addition to the coveted Retailer of the Year title, Dotique was also named as the Fashion and Footwear Retailer of the Year. Based on Chatsworth Road, the business was established in 2018 by Dorothy Robinson.
Delighted with the double win, Dorothy said: “I am so very happy to win. I love Chesterfield and am supported by fantastic staff and customers who have spurred me on since opening the business. Thank you to everybody that has supported me and voted for me.”
Dotique was one of 15 winners named as Chesterfield’s very best shops, market stalls, events, apprentices, projects and businesses in the town.
Usually a black-tie awards ceremony at Casa Hotel, amidst the challenges of the pandemic this year’s awards ceremony was held online and hosted by street magician Steve Faulkner.
Previously known as the Chesterfield Retail Awards and now in its seventh year, this year’s High Street Awards saw a number of new names and faces in the winners’ line-up. Pinewood Properties, Curious Goods, Huckleberry Willow, Steph’s Sustainable Stuff, Warhammer and Shop Indie were all first-time winners in the awards.
Tara Underhill, Senior Destination Chesterfield Coordinator and organiser of the annual awards said: “Despite the challenges that Covid presented to this year’s Chesterfield High Street Awards, they are certainly the most memorable.
“Never have high street businesses needed our support more. It was an honour and a privilege for the Destination Chesterfield team to be able to organise an event to celebrate this hard-working sector. Each and every business and individual on our high street deserves both recognition and support. Well done to everyone involved.”
Cllr Amanda Serjeant, Vice Chair of Destination Chesterfield and Deputy Leader of Chesterfield Borough Council, added: “It was a pleasure to be able to join everyone virtually for the Chesterfield High Street Awards 2020. What a year it has been. Yet the people behind the town’s high street businesses have shown such resilience.
“It is crucial that we all get behind local businesses during this time of uncertainty and beyond. Chesterfield Borough Council has adopted an ambitious plan to support and rebuild the local economy. Without a doubt, further challenges will lay ahead. But we will continue to work closely with Destination Chesterfield and Chesterfield Champions to promote the town as a place to work, live, visit and invest. We will also continue to collaborate with local businesses, invest in our economy, showcase our successful businesses and everything that is great about Chesterfield.”
Dorothy added: “It was lovely to be part of the awards. Thank you everybody. It’s important that everybody supports each other.”
The winning businesses, individuals and events in the 2020 Chesterfield High Street Awards include:
Fashion and Footwear Retailer of the Year and Retailer of the Year 2020
Dorothy Robinson, owner of Dotique said: “I am so very happy to win. I love Chesterfield and am supported by fantastic staff and customers who have spurred me on since opening the business. Customers are at the heart of everything that we do and we’re constantly striving to improve the customer experience. Thank you to everybody that has supported me and voted for Dotique.”
Hair and Beauty Business of the Year
Belle Vie scooped the award for the second year running. Alysha Bradley, owner of Belle Vie said: “It feels amazing to win the award for the second year in a row. Our clients have been so supportive this year. Thank you to them and the team.”
Food and Drink Retailer of the Year
Chris Radford, Managing Director of Brampton Brewery, said: “Although we’re operating in difficult times, we love working in the industry. All the team is passionate about what we do and I think that comes through when we’re serving customers.”
High Street Business of the Year
The business really stood out to the judges for its speedy response on social media. Stacey Davies-Bowler, Managing Director of Pinewood Properties, said: “We are so pleased to win. The last three years have been incredible. We’ve won virtually every customer-service award in our industry. We do ordinary things exceptionally well. We are made up to win the Chesterfield High Street Award.”
Home, Gifts and Leisure Retailer of the Year
The store was commended by judges for having helpful and knowledgeable staff. Luke Shah, Managing Director of Huckleberry Willow said “We are delighted to win the award. It was very unexpected. We’re a family business and have been in Chesterfield since 1976. It is amazing to have the support of our customers.”
Market Trader of the Year
Steph’s Sustainable Stuff
Owner of the first zero waste stall on Chesterfield’s Saturday’s Market and monthly Artisan Market, Steph Mannion, said: “The award puts green shopping on the map in Chesterfield. It is awesome to be recognised for bringing zero waste shopping to Chesterfield. I am so proud of Chesterfield and the market. There is no need to go to a supermarket. From meat, veg and dry goods to toiletry and household refills and environmentally friendly products -Chesterfield’s market has it covered.”
Independent Retailer of the Year
Judges praised the business’ use of technology to connect people online. Emily Lord, owner of Fred’s Haberdashery said: “We were really surprised and shocked to win. It feels great after so much hard work. Having taken over the business in February just before lockdown, we’ve had to work really hard to get the website and social media up and running but it has helped keep us connected to our customers and enabled them to keep crafting.”
National/Multiple Retailer of the Year
The friendly and knowledgeable service at Warhammer stood out for the judges. Andrew Ward, manager of the Warhammer store in Chesterfield, said: “I was really chuffed to win. We’re a unique store in the town with knowledgeable staff all committed to giving customers a really great experience when they visit us. We are really grateful to all our customers for their support.”
Retail Apprentice of the Year
Molly Bradbury, Arvato
Lindsey Phillips, Senior Rent Officer at Arvato CRM Solutions UK commented: “I am so very proud of Molly as she is a huge asset to our department and is so deserving of this award. I have no doubt that Molly will continue to grow and I look forward to supporting and working with her in the future. She is an exceptional member of our team.”
Apprentice Employer of the Year
The beauty business, which is based in Hasland has employed apprentices for more than 10 years. Rebecca McNair, an apprentice beauty therapist at Therapy Lounge, said: “We were delighted and surprised to win the award. We’ve all been working so hard to do the best we can for our clients during Covid.”
Best Customer Service
Owner Jonny Kudibal said: “It’s fabulous to win. We sell a lot of holistic and alternative therapy products so it’s important we give the right advice to help customers make the best decision. We have great staff who have been with us for a number of years and they really do try to make a difference to all our customers. Thank you to all our customers supporting us through Covid.”
Best Town Centre Event
Chesterfield Food and Drink Festival
Organised by Edge Events, this is the second consecutive year the Chesterfield Food and Drink Festival has won the Best Town Centre Event category. Richard Alsop, Managing Director of Edge Events, said: “We are so proud to receive this award. We always put our heart and soul into the Chesterfield Food and Drink Festival and it is so encouraging to have the support that we do from the public, the traders and the council.
“It has added an extra bit of specialness to the award receiving it during the tough times our industry is currently facing. We look forward to organising a great festival, hopefully in 2021.”
Future High Street Award
Vicar Lane Shopping Centre Big Screen
Sarah Bowler, Office Administrator and Commercialisation Coordinator at Vicar Lane Shopping Centre, said: “We’re over the moon to have won the Future High Street Award for our Big Screen.
“The installation of the screen is one of the latest improvements that Alterx, our owners, have made to the shopping centre since purchasing it in December 2018. With it we hope to create an animated focal point and lively meeting place for visitors and shoppers to socialise and spend time within the town centre. We’re also working with local partners to help promote businesses within the area and push out key messages about the town centre and all of the wonderful things happening around us.”
Best New Store
Lisa Swift, partner at Shop Indie which opened in October last year, said: “We were really delighted when we heard our name called out at the awards. It’s lovely that the people of Chesterfield have really taken on board our shop and love our products. It’s nice to offer Chesterfield something different.”
The 2020 Chesterfield High Street Awards were supported and made possible by a number of sponsors, including Adorn Jewellers, Apprentice Town (led by Chesterfield Borough Council), BRM Solicitors, Chesterfield Borough Council, Chesterfield College Group, Derbyshire Times, East Midlands Chamber (Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire), eBusiness Works, Greatest Hits Radio (North Derbyshire), JP Fire Safety Solutions, Maybe*, The Pavements Shopping Centre, Q2 Creative and Redbrik Estate Agents.