Booker Wholesale and Bidvest Foodservice were among the big winners at the FWD Gold Medal Awards last month, scooping four accolades apiece at the HAC Royal Artillery Garden in London.
Bidvest walked away with Gold Medals for Wholesale Service to Caterers and Green Wholesaler of the Year, while Stuart Doughty, retail development manager at Booker Brighton, was named Young Wholesaler of the Year.
“It’s a real honour to be awarded four Gold Medals,” said Andrew Selley, chief executive of Bidvest. “It demonstrates our passion to be the best foodservice provider in the industry. Our customers are the key to our success and we pride ourselves on being able to deliver service excellence to them.”
There was also cause for celebration at Bestway Batleys, as managing director Younus Sheikh collected the Outstanding Achievement award.
Reflecting afterwards, Sheikh admitted he was shocked to receive such high recognition. He quipped: “When the citation was being read, I was thinking: ‘Wow, this person has really devoted his life to wholesale‘. After a few seconds, it dawned on me that it was me they were talking about.
“It really was a fantastic surprise and an incredible honour to receive this recognition. It goes without saying that I could not have done any of this if it wasn’t for the fantastic team I have been lucky enough to have around me over the years.
“I would like to thank all Bestway and Batleys colleagues, past and present, for all their support, their hard work and dedication, and the many successes we have achieved together. This award is for them as much as it is for me.”
Although absent from the 800-plus guests in attendance – the biggest in the history of the event, Prime Minister David Cameron sent his congratulations and hailed the “incredible resilience, efficiency and commitment” of the shortlisted finalists.
Chancellor George Osborne was just as complimentary, lauding the evening as “a fantastic opportunity to highlight and celebrate the tireless work, dedication, and most important of all, success of British wholesalers over the past year”.
For the first time ever, women won more individual awards than men, with Julie Tidy of Bidvest (Delivered Depot Manager), Joy York of Booker Newcastle (Customer Support) and Linsey McNamara of Booker Worthing (Depot Team Member) all taking home Gold Medals.
Northern Irish wholesaler Savage & Whitten triumphed in the Wholesale Service to Retail category, while Costco Chingford general manager Danny McManamon was named Cash & Carry Manager of the Year.
FWD Gold Medal Awards 2015 – Roll of Honour
The Real McCoy’s – KP Snacks
Echo Falls Fruit Fusion – Accolade Wines
Knorr – Unilever Food Solutions
Service to Retail
Service to Foodservice
Innovation in Retail
Heineken UK for Strongbow Dark Fruit
Innovation in Foodservice
Unilever Food Solutions for Chef Rewards
Wholesaler Service to Retailers
Savage & Whitten
Wholesaler Service to Caterers
Green Wholesaler of the Year
Cash & Carry Depot Team
Cash & Carry Manager
Danny McManamon, general manager, Costco Chingford
Depot Team Member
Linsey McNamara, customer services supervisor, Booker Worthing
Joy York, branch assistant, Booker Newcastle
Delivered Depot Manager
Julie Tidy, depot general manager, Bidvest Foodservice Cannock
Delivered Wholesale Driver
Dave McRostie, Bidvest Foodservice Bicester
Young Wholesaler of the Year
Stuart Doughty, retail development manager, Booker Brighton
Younus Sheikh, managing director, Bestway Batleys