Staff at a Richmondshire village shop are celebrating after being named the best in Yorkshire.
Barton Village Shop and Post Office, run by Darren and Laura Wool, has been crowned Yorkshire Champion in the 2019 Countryside Alliance Awards, also known as the Rural Oscars.
There were over 18,000 entries in the competition and they reached the last eight in their category, Best Village Shop and Post Office.
The couple travelled to London for the Champions’ Reception at the House of Lords to receive their award and meet dignitaries including Richmondshire MP Rishi Sunak.
Since taking over the shop just four years ago, Darren and Laura have become a key part of the village. They stock local produce and support village causes such as the annual fireworks display.
Regular customer John Todd loves visiting the shop.
He said: “I’m in and out so often — it’s my second home.
“Maybe I should learn to write a shopping list.”
The shop was nominated by a customer.
Darren said: “We knew nothing about it until a letter came from the organisers.”
Many other villagers then added their views on what makes Barton Shop so special. Judges were impressed by the quantity and quality of the testimonials.
When the judges visited the shop, they saw how important it is to Barton and the surrounding area.
They said: “Laura and Darren are a real lifeline for the four villages their shop serves. They have breathed a new community into Barton.”
Customer Anne Thorogood added: “What a pleasure it is to shop in our village store. Darren and Laura greet customers with a warm welcome and are keen to engage with the local community and support local activities.”
Darren said: “This is the best job in the world. Every day is different and we couldn’t ask for friendlier customers.”
Laura added: “Although we didn’t win the national title, to make the top eight in the country is a huge achievement. We couldn’t have done it without our fantastic customers and wonderful staff.”