Soho Dairy wins major award despite year of Berwick Street misery
Developments have 'smashed' trade says winner in
28 July, 2017 — By Alina Polianskaya
Robin Smith in his green suit at the Federation of Small Businesses ceremony
AN independent Berwick Street dairy has been named the best retailer of the year at an industry awards.
The owners of Soho Dairy were “thrilled to bits” to receive the Federation of Small Businesses London Retail Business of the Year award.
For the past five years of demolition and construction works, the business has managed to thrive despite the “dust” and “noise” and “uncertainty”.
Robin Smith, the owner of Soho Dairy, said: “Every day we question whether we will get through the month ahead. The developments have smashed the market and local businesses as well as quality of life for residents. Development is running out of control in Soho.
“So this is brilliant, we are completely fed up with five years of misery and the despairs of economic woe, it is great to have something that clearly demonstrates to Westminster and the powers-that-be what can be achieved if we are left to our own devices.”
Mr Smith was also at the forefront of the fight to keep the market independent, after Westminster Council attempted to transfer its running to a private operator last year – but then dropped the privatisation plans earlier this year.
The qualities the Federation of Small Businesses were looking for included maintaining or increasing sales over 12 months and exceptional customer service.
Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg, Labour’s business, planning and public realm spokesman, said: “Soho Dairy has been an inspiration to all for the quality of their produce, their personal service and the leadership they have shown in the campaign to keep Berwick Street Market alive. Let’s hope this is the first of many awards for Berwick Street Market traders.”