A shop owner from Halstead is celebrating after his business won a prestigious award, recognising it as one of the best shops in the country. 

Bill and Berts, in Sir Isaac’s Walk, Colchester, was crowned the independent gift retailer of the year for London, the south, south east, and East Anglia at the Greats Gift Retail Awards 2024. 

Organised by Progressive Gifts and Home, the award, now in its 22nd year, celebrates and rewards the UK’s outstanding gift shops and departments.

Retailers are encouraged to submit entries about their shops and suppliers nominate the retailer they feel has excelled over the last year. 

Halstead Gazette:

During a glitzy ceremony at the Royal Lancaster Hotel in London, the Colchester shop came out on top after competing against thousands of entries and six finalists. 

The win left owner Bill Nettelfield, from Halstead, where many of his team also live, ecstatic.

He said: “This is huge, it is a national award. It has been very exciting and rewarding - we are still buzzing. 

“The award is for the staff and the shop. 

“We have had a lot of people come in and congratulate us. It feels like confirmation of all the hard work that we have been doing. 

“It is extremely satisfying to see that we are doing the right thing, and we have the right staff beside us to make it possible.” 

Being recognised in such a huge group of competitors and on a national level is a big achievement, not only for the shop but for Colchester as a city, Mr Nettelfield said. 

He also believes winning the award will put both the shop and the city on the map and help independent businesses flourish.

“What a difference it makes when there are people who look up to us and suppliers come to find us," he added.

Halstead Gazette: Award - The award won by Bill and BertsAward - The award won by Bill and Berts (Image: Amy Nettlefield)

“This makes a huge difference to Colchester. We will and have seen so many people who have come to us because of word of mouth.” 

Last year the business was named runner-up in the UK’s Favourite Local Business competition, receiving hundreds of votes and proving the continued success of the shop.