Congratulations to local hardware and DIY store, The Handicentre for winning this year's Customer Service Award at the Newark Business Awards.

The family business has been running since 1973 and has always prided itself on friendly and efficient customer service, fair pricing and a comprehensive well stocked range. As well as the shop on Queen Street there is also a larger depot Crewe Lane Industrial Estate and branches in Bingham.

As several of the nominees put it: "They seem to stock everything" and "The shop has an amazing array of hardware goods — just like an Aladdin's cave. If they haven't got what you require, they will order it for you. I don't know what I would do if this shop wasn't trading."
"The Handicentre is always a happy place to visit with cheerful, helpful and polite staff who have excellent knowledge of the products sold. A marvellous company."

A team from The Handicentre received the award at the Awards Night at Kelham Hall. Guest speaker for the evening was former England rugby union international, Rory Underwood MBE.

Another local finalist was Cara Hearson from Manor Farm Tea Shoppe in Bleasby. She came runner up in the Employee of the Year category, which was won by Lisa Olson of Gente Bella, Newark.

Cara joined the business as a 16-year-old apprentice and now works full-time as a chef in the tea shoppe in the day and in the gastro dining restaurant in the evenings. Still only 19, she is in charge of the day-to-day running of the kitchen, including managing stock, developing recipes, upholding food hygiene standards and making bespoke celebration cakes.
Manor Farm owner Caroline Goodwin said: "Cara is an absolute pleasure to have in the kitchen and is highly-respected by all team members."