East Northants shop in the running to be crowned Britain’s Best Small Shop of 2018

Bulwick Village Shop
Bulwick Village Shop

A village shop and pickle store is on the shortlist of retailers to be named Britain’s Best Small Shop of 2018.

Camille Ortega McLean opened the Bulwick Village Shop in 2005 with a view to creating a village shop with a difference.

The shop had previously been a post office and general stores but had been empty for some time.

Camille knew it needed a unique selling point if it was going to survive, which is why she launched her Bulwick-made range of pickles and preserves in 2008.

Overnight, Bulwick Village Shop became the home of The Pickled Village, an award-winning range of products.

The Best Small Shops competition, run by the Independent Retailers Confederation (IRC), celebrates the commitment and creativity of independent retailers on the UK’s High Streets and the central role they play in their local communities.

Mark Walmsley, chairman of the IRC, said: “Despite all of the bad headlines and the high-profile closures of larger stores, we firmly believe that specialist independent retailers can thrive in this climate by delivering a truly unique retail experience.

“The Best Small Shops competition enables us celebrate this unique industry, the passion, service, flexibility and knowledge of independent shop owners offer and show customers what makes independent retailers so special.”

Camille is hoping they are among the winners which are set to be announced at an event at the Houses of Parliament on November 13.

Beside a tasting table where you can sample the full range of preserves, Camille and her team offer home-made cooked breakfast and lunch dishes including sandwiches, sausage rolls, empanadas, soups and other snacks, breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea.

Their tapas plates and ploughman’s lunch, washed down with a beer or glass of wine, seem to be firm favourites on the garden terrace.

Camille also offers local delivery, postage stamps and takes in parcels for collection and delivery for her customers.

The online offshoot - The Pickled Shop - offers hampers and goodie boxes/bags with hand-written messages.