Budgens retailers Craig Dike and Adam Vincent have scooped the coveted Top Shop Award for 2005.

The duo fought off stiff competition from Kishor Patel of Nisa Local in Houghton Regis, Bedfordshire, and Daphne Baldwin and Gwyn Williams of JR Baldwin Spar in Tywyn, Gwynedd - the winners of best neighbourhood and best town store - to bag the top prize. Craig and Adam’s 3,000sq ft Budgens store in Stoke-sub-Hamdon, Somerset, has been trading for only two years after the original shop was gutted by a devastating fire.

They were praised by the judges for their enthusiasm, innovation and flair for retail. The pair were “absolutely speechless” as they celebrated with family, friends and Budgens colleagues. “We’re really chuffed,” said Adam. “But we couldn’t have done it without our staff and the support Budgens has given us.”

Craig’s mum Sarah Dike, who also works in the business, said she was extremely proud of her son and Adam. “It’s been a lot of hard work bringing this together,” she told C-Store. “There’s a lot of human interest to this story because of the fire, but our success stems from our very loyal customer base. There have been quite hard times but if people notice you, it makes a difference, not just to us, but to our staff as well.”

Mike Fitton, Budgens head of retailer support, added his congratulations to Adam and Craig: “They’ve only been trading for two years so it’s a fantastic achievement. To win from nothing is an amazing thing - it really shows their dedication.”

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