Posted: 20th December 2016
Local retailer marks 15th year with double win & a Christmas party
Herefordshire general store and speciality food retailer, Hope’s of Longtown, celebrated its 15th year trading this Saturday 17th December with a special Christmas event for customers, suppliers and the local community to round off another spectacular year which saw the business, owned by farming family the Hopes, scoop two more awards for its innovative approach to rural retailing.
In the autumn Hope’s of Longtown achieved a coveted repeat rating in the Independent Achievers Academy list as one of the Top 100 independent shops in the UK and Ireland; earlier this month they attended a glittering ceremony to collect their winner’s award in the Digital Engagement category at the Independent Achievers Academy for their enterprising use of social media marketing.
Judges News UK praised the business’s ‘clear strategy across all digital channels’ including a newly revamped website featuring digital order forms, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest; the Hope’s website is also the top listing on Google. The judges also noted the creation of a unique hashtag, #shoplocal30, to promote products that are produced, made or grown within 30 miles of the store.
To celebrate these successes and their 15th year, proprietor Christine Hope staged a Christmas party in the grounds of the store, located at the foot of the scenic Black Mountains, featuring a real donkey and lambs from the family farm, crafting for children and a visit from Father Christmas. Food was supplied by Rayeesa Indian kitchen and Black Mountain Roast, along with an extra special martini espresso chocolate bar by Nom Nom and Chase, mulled cider and homemade mince pies by Tina. The event concluded with an interactive concert by the Community Orchestra and a free goody bag for every visitor. Reflecting on their achievements Christine says,
“It’s been a full-on year with the business moving from strength to strength, thanks to the support of our hardworking staff and loyal customer base across the region.
“We have constantly changed and adapted over the years to keep pace with what customers want – social media didn’t even exist when we started but has since become a key platform for customer communication. We are proud and honoured to have been recognised again by the IAA for our work in digital engagement and look forward to another busy year ahead.”
About Hope’s of Longtown:
Hopes of Longtown is a general store with a difference located in the Herefordshire village of Longtown, a stone’s throw from the Welsh border between Hereford, Abergavenny and Hay-on-Wye. Combining a diverse range of speciality and regional produce with the practical facets of a convenience store, Hopes of Longtown exists to serve the outlying community along with hundreds of visitors to the area, while helping to sustain local economies.
In 2011, 2012 and 2016 Hopes of Longtown achieved Top 100 Independent Retailer (UK & Ireland) status by the Independent Achievers Academy. They have also been awarded the Gold Award for Community Retailing from the FWD’s My Shop is Your Shop campaign and were finalists in the Flavours of Herefordshire awards.
Director and Chairman of the Herefordshire Rural Hub, Christine Hope was named NFU Countryside’s Country Person of the year in 2004, entered the Country Living Village Hall of Fame in 2006 and was named one of The Future 100 Young Social Entrepreneurs in 2009.
For more information call 01873 860 444 or visit www.hopesoflongtown.co.uk