A FAMILY supermarket has scooped a national award for its alcoholic drinks offering.

Dike & Son, an independent supermarket and café in Stalbridge, north Dorset was named Convenience Drinks Retailer of the Year at the 2019 Drinks Retailing Awards.

Judges praised the shop for its 'terrific range, excellent merchandising and strong staff knowledge.'

From humble beginnings – Harold Dike started to deliver groceries with a horse and cart in 1851 – the business has evolved into the biggest independent supermarket in the south west of England.

Now in the hands of the fifth generation of the Dike family, the firm has worked hard over the past few years to respond to customer demand for regional craft spirits, ales and ciders. The drinks department stocks more than 50 gins and almost 100 ciders, and has a strong commitment to showcasing local producers.

Martin Green, editor of Drinks Retailing News, said: “Dike & Son is officially the best convenience store in the UK when it comes to beer, cider, wine and spirits. The good people of Stalbridge and further afield are lucky to have such a great store to visit. Judges were hugely impressed by its all-round offering, declaring this family-run business to be a real gem.

"The Nisa retailer goes several extra miles beyond the convenience sector norm and BWS is a major contributor to its sales. With a large site, drinks get a lot of dedicated space. There’s a vast bank of chillers for white wines, lagers and ciders, and an ale and speciality beer range that celebrates the best of both the local and international beer scenes. Its south west location is reflected in a cider range that’s bursting at the seams and its spirits line-up is more than a match for most supermarkets and multiple specialists.”

Managing director Andrew Dike said: “We’re delighted to receive recognition for our drinks department. The team works very hard to maintain strong working relationships with our local micro-breweries and cider producers here in Dorset and Somerset, as well as a growing number of craft gin makers.

“We pride ourselves on being on top of market trends and keeping our customers interested with a varied range of wines, beers, ciders and spirits. We run regular tasting evenings with expert speakers, and we offer our customers incentives to use us for event catering, such as free glass hire and a full refund on any unused booze.

“We’re very chuffed indeed to win this prestigious award and the whole team are delighted.”

For more information visit dikes-direct.co.uk