The Best Pet Shop in Weymouth!
Friday 16th June was the big night…. We were finalists in the Best Overall Retailer category of the Dorset Echo’s Industry Awards. Consequently, we were invited to the Hix Academy at Weymouth College for the black-tie awards dinner. The prospect of being recognised as the Best Pet Shop in Weymouth was very exciting indeed!
The venue was excellent. The Hix Academy is a training school for young hospitality trainees. It allows them to gain experience of working in a busy restaurant. Both in the kitchen and on the floor. The students catered and served the entire evening. As a Hotel Management graduate in my younger years I can safely say that they did themselves proud! Putting on a great, 3 course meal with fantastic service!
The wine for each table was provided by Furleigh Estate, Dorset’s own award winning vineyard just north of Bridport. Langham Estate, just south of Blandford also kindly provided a bottle of their finest bubbly for all the finalists! A local business sponsored each category. Fleetline Taxis sponsored The Best Overall Retailer. Consequently Andy and Sarah from Fleetline joined us on the table. We also shared the table with the 2 other shortlisted businesses for the Retailer Award; Dorset Antique Clocks and Bathroom Inspirations .
The Moment Arrived
It was a full house for the occasion with, at a guess over 150 local business people in the room. The evening progressed and the tension started to build on our table! Who was going to win?! A trophy for each category winner was waiting on the prize table. However none had the winner’s name inscribed on them, only the category name. Our dinner service concluded with some entertainment provided by some of the students of Weymouth College. Then it was time for the prize giving! The Best Overall Retailer Award was first. To present the award was Andy from Fleetline Taxis. The time had come and to my delight, we won! The Best Pet Shop in Weymouth and consequently the Best Overall Retailer is The Pet Experience!
John, who works in the shop part-time, was filming the announcement. Rosie, his wife sat with him at our table. John is an invaluable addition to the business. Having John and Rosie at the table was very important to me. Conversely Chris was not able to attend. John and I missed Chris, as she works with us at the shop. The video is available on our Facebook page if you want to see how it all went!
As with so many exciting things in life, it all happened very quickly. It seemed to be over before it had begun! Thankfully though there’s John’s video and a few snaps for me to remember the occasion. We’ve also got a lovely, glass trophy and certificate on display in the shop.
So where to from here?! Before I go any further, the contributions of John and Chris to the success of The Pet Experience are significant. I do believe that without their help over the years, we would not have won this award. So to them I say a heart-felt Thank-You! To be the best pet shop in Weymouth you have to have the best staff! And of course thank you to our customers, without whom, there is no business and no award.
When I opened the shop 10 years ago on the Granby Estate I was a one-man-band doing everything myself. As the name of The Pet Experience grew and we became more popular, trade increased. I could handle it to a point but in order to grow, I had to develop a team around me. John came first to give me a day off each week. Chris followed shortly after on a part-time basis, becoming full-time when we moved to our new premises at Link Park. I couldn’t do it without them!
Simply the Best!
My aim has always been to be best shop in town. Provide the best service. Offer the widest range of products at the best prices. Most importantly, have a bit of fun/chat with our customers in the process! At times, we have even bribed customers with pear drops at the checkout! To maintain best practices, stock is constantly rotated, priced, cleaned, and displayed. I’m often away at trade shows around the country. Looking for new stock lines and getting the best deals to provide our customers with the best prices. We’ll continue this and constantly look for further ways to improve.
This award is a great honour for us. However we will not rest on our laurels. To the contrary! This has just inspired me to aim even higher! The Dorset Echo Industry Awards are open to ANY DT postcode business that fits into one of their categories. As a result, the Best Overall Retailer award really does mean a lot! Just think of how many retailers there are in the DT area that we were competing against.
But we can do even better and that’s what I intend to do. So watch this space customers….. Maybe one day soon you’ll be coming to buy your pet food in the UK’s best pet shop!
Thank you to all our customers, past & present for helping us to be voted the Best Pet Shop in Weymouth and we look forward to seeing you all again soon at Link Park!
Read the Echo’s full report on the night here: https://www.dorsetecho.co.uk/news/15354533.watch-the-video-businesses-celebrate-successes-in-style-at-dorset-echo-industry-awards/