THE Deli in the Village at Hagley has been commended at this year’s Farm Shop & Deli Show.

The venture was among a raft of worthy regional finalists in the 2022 Retailer Awards celebrating the UK’s best loved specialist retailers, pillars of their communities and champions of great produce and sustainable practice.

A panel of judges looked at how retailers have adapted and evolved their businesses to demonstrate innovation and sustainability, to create a longlist of regional finalists which was whittled down from hundreds of entries.

Stourbridge News: Jodie Mondon-Lines from The Deli in the VillageJodie Mondon-Lines from The Deli in the Village

Jodie Mondon-Lines, of The Deli in the Village, was delighted to see the business recognised at the prestigious awards and said: “The past 18 months has been a testing, tiring, exciting and rewarding time for our small shop in the heart of Hagley.

“We adapted in many ways to ensure the business' success, but also to support our local community.

“We became a lifeline to many people offering shopping deliveries, home cooked meals delivered five days a week to the elderly, extended our product range and even managed to provide flour, pasta and milk when many places couldn't. We had the pleasure of keeping people’s spirts up with our various 'pop up' events.

“Tapas, Greek, Halloween 'fangtastic' feasts, and VE Day afternoon teas were just a few of my favourites.

“We provided countless afternoon teas and takeaways and, as popularity grew, we changed our plastic packaging to recyclable cardboard where we could.

“We have worked with local charities such as Mary Stevens Hospice and Severn Valley Railway, to support them during a difficult time.

“We provided Christmas dinners to day patients of Mary Stevens Hospice so they could have a Zoom Christmas party which made them feel less isolated. We donated gift vouchers and sweet treats for their events to help them raise money for the care they offer.

Stourbridge News: The Deli in the VillageThe Deli in the Village

“Over the 12 years since we have opened the shop we have been trying to implement steps to make us more sustainable. We swapped from polystyrene containers to 100 per cent recyclable packaging, paper bags, biodegradable bags and asking customers to bring in their own containers if possible.

“We have very limited food waste as 90 per cent of the items in our counters and fridges are made on-site. This means we are able to use items in our homemade meals and soups which may, in other situations, end up wasted. The other 10 per cent of our fresh products are provided by local suppliers which limits our carbon footprint.

“We have also invested in new counters and freezers which are more economical.

“We are always looking for new ways to limit waste and are currently looking at installing a compost bin for our scraps which we may be able to share with the local allotments.

"It has been hard work for myself and my staff, we couldn't have survived without them and all the love they have put in. We are a close little family who have supported each other through everything over the past 18 months.

“We have a great mixture of old and new staff, all who have a lovely way with customers. I am so grateful for all they do. Our homemade, fresh food and friendly customer service keeps customers coming back for more.”

The awards were held at the NEC Birmingham on April 25.