The Jug & Bottle in Bubwith double Cider Retailer of the Year winner

PUBLISHED: 16:57 30 April 2012 | UPDATED: 21:20 20 February 2013

Louise Smith toasting the success of her Bubwith business

Louise Smith toasting the success of her Bubwith business

Why an East Yorkshire delicatessen is toasting a double success with cider

Doug and Louise Smith could be forgiven for feeling a little light-headed as the dizzying success of their delicatessen continues with another prestigious award.

The Jug & Bottle in Bubwith has become the first shop ever to retain its Cider Retailer of the Year title at the National Drinks Retailing Awards.
We continually strive to provide the best possible range of products for our customers, said Louise. We also try to offer a high quality buying experience, so to receive this recognition again is a fantastic honour.

The shop opened nine years ago in small premises in Main Street and, in September 2007, moved to the old Victorian school, a historically important building at the heart of Bubwith.

As well as running Bubwith Beerfest, which continues to go from strength to strength, Louise and Doug have increased their product range 12 draught ciders have become 16 in the past year, whilst the choice of bottled products has gone from 53 in 2010 to 92 in 2011 and have started supplying local pubs, sports clubs and festivals, including York City FC, Sheffield Rugby Club Beer & Cider Festival, Selby Cricket Club and The Boot & Shoe at Ellerton.

Louise runs regular training sessions for staff to ensure they are up-to-date with the latest products and encourages them to try ciders so they can talk from personal experience. She also recently organised a cider tasting evening with a sensory taster helping customers try before they buy.

This strong focus on cider has come from the customers themselves, who travel from miles around some even from outside the county to buy the latest offering.

Our success is down to good old fashioned friendly service with some innovative approaches to stocking and selling, said Louise, who has seen a substantial 61 per cent increase in year-on-year sales as a result. Very few retailers in the country dispense cider directly into jugs like we do, or offer pre-purchase tasters. Our focus on craft ciders and non-supermarket products confirms our support for the grass roots of the industry.

One of the Jug & Bottles major selling points is that about 90 per cent of its stock is sourced directly from the producer, a good proportion locally. Louise is also an avid supporter of microbrewers and local suppliers, which means 95 per cent of the bottled beer and all of the wines stocked in the shop are not available in supermarkets.

The Jug & Bottle always amazes people when they visit for the first time, said Louise. Our varied product lines mean weve even been referred to as a mini Harrods!

We are extremely proud of the reputation weve built. Every day we greet new people recommended by existing customers.

The print version of this article appeared in the May 2012 issue of Yorkshire Life

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