Well the nominations for Calderdale’s favourite shops and cafes have been flying in thick and fast and well several hundred shop and cafe recommendations from all towns in Calderdale. The breadth of recommendations is amazing and is unearthing new Hidden Gems in the process for us to talk about in the coming months.
The format for the Awards ceremony has changed a little and we will post up the details shortly as a new post. It is still the same night though.
In addition to the favourites that are being voted for there will be a number of other awards on the night for categories such as Totally Locally Newcomers, Total Local Heroes, Most Mentioned on our Travels, Totally Locally Market Shop, Money Go-Round, and a few others…so there will be celebrations and smiles abound at the event.
It has been fascinating reading everyones comments about why they have nominated their favourite shops and cafes, there has been family block voting to rival the Eurovision Song Contest, and there has been some unusual nominations too.
We have had nominations for River Island, Next and other nationwide High Street brands…which whilst are ineligible for our independent shop and cafe awards still provide the same passionate comments about service, selection of choice and how they make people feel. This just reinforces the point that for a town to be successful it does need a bit of everything and there is room for independent local stores and the larger chains side by side on the high street. If we want to see character, convenience, choice, and high quality service I am certain that we need a bit of everything to make the High Street and Town Centres vibrant and a place for all again.
Anyway…Some randomly selected quotes and the shops and cafes.
“I love this cafe because it is pretty and very clean. The food is outstanding and the cakes..mmmmmmm..the cakes are out of this world. Helen is so lovely and so very very friendly. She made my wedding cupcakes and they were divine.” - about Lippylicious Tea Room
“Amazing work from a wide selection of local and UK artists and designer-makers and staff with a genuine passion for supporting local talent. The team are exceptionally talented at matching artist’s work to individual customers making sure they leave with the perfect treat for themselves or a special gift for a loved one.” - about the Heart Gallery, Hebden Bridge.
“The products which they sell are so scrummy and so individual. No cafe’s in the hebden bridge/halifax area offer the same as the the milk bar does. Not only do they sell milkshakes but they cater for everyones needs with a variety of different products – coffees, smoothies, milkshake, cupcakes, ice cream etc. Amazing friendly staff and lovely atmosphere!” - about The Milk Bar, Halifax/Hebden
“Andrea lets my son choose small gifts and lets him save small amounts to pay it off from 10p to 50p. This way he learns the value and the joy of giving presents. It is a great service and really teaches kids a great lesson about giving but makes it possible for them to do it painlessly. Plus her items are SO unusual and plenty of hand- made and a good range of prices.” - about Trinkette, Sowerby Bridge.
“Pleasant, calming surroundings and great staff.” - about Togo Coffee House, Brighouse.
“The shop is a genuinely independent, family-owned, family-run enterprise. Staff are always friendly, but not just in that false way; they are genuinely nice. The shop sells things that are very unique, sourced from all over the world; not just the same old rubbish you see in the clone-copy high street shops.” - about The Friendly Dragon, Halifax.
“Good food, superb beer, nice atmosphere; great how Mark and the team have taken what used to be a horrible pub and turned it right round to become one of the best in Yorkshire. If only he’d lose the cheesy ’70s tapes ” - about The Old Ship Inn, Brighouse.
“Offers different gifts for affordable prices. Excellent customer care and quality shopping experience. Love the bubbles coming out of the top window on soap making day. Willie Wonkers Chocolate Factory eat your heart out.” - about The Yorkshire Soap Company, Hebden Bridge.
“It is totally vegetarian. Meals are delicious, freshly cooked using local and organic produce. The home-made cakes are great too. There is a set menu and always other options on the blackboard. Spoilt for choice! ” - about Ginger Cafe, Halifax
We will produce a complete list of nominees and comments after we close the voting (on Sunday 26th June) which will be released on the actual awards night…We then intend to visit all of the shops and cafes to make sure that they see what a good job they have been doing and will publish the comments etc in a special Totally Locally Times and feature them throughout the website and on our Facebook page.
We will have one more award update next week where we will list all of the shops and cafes voted for to date…there may even be some clues to potential winners…so stay tuned.
Thanks so far to those who have voted…and if you haven’t…get your skates on.
Totally Locally Nigel.