Kent retailer John Maxwell-Jones' commitment to local produce and customer service has paid off as his Burgess Stores was named Best Independent Village Shop at last week's Taste of Kent awards.
To qualify for the final, stores had to be nominated by shoppers and provide a list of local produce stocked - a major task for John as he sells more than 280 lines produced in the county of Kent. A mystery shopper then visited the finalists' stores to judge them on standards and quality of presentation.
This year marked the third time in a row that Burgess Stores has made it to the final of the competition, and the second time it has picked up the top prize.
The win has already triggered good publicity for the store, which recently celebrated its 175th anniversary. It has featured in local newspapers and on BBC Radio Kent, which was the main sponsor of the award.

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