A HELMSLEY deli which was named Britain’s best small shop a few years ago has been put on the market.

The multiple award-winning Hunters of Helmsley has been based in Helmsley for more than 25 years, and current owners Chris and Christine Garnett have been at the helm since 2008.

Enjoying a prime spot on thew town's Market Place in a Grade-II listed stone building, the deli attracts customers from far and wide.

The ground floor offers fresh meats, cheeses, salads and sandwiches, along with a wide-ranging alcohol selection, while the first floor is home to premium ambient groceries and gifts, including chocolates, preserves, pickles, oils, meal ingredients, tea and coffee.

It employs seven full-time staff and two part-timers.

Christine Garnett said: “It was always going to be a tough decision to let Hunters go, as we have worked so hard to create the shop we always wanted. But Chris is 62, I’m approaching 60 and we recently became grandparents, so we decided it was probably time to hang up our aprons.

"There’s still lots of opportunities to grow the business, we have plenty of ideas, but it isn’t the right time in our lives for us do be doing that – for someone a bit younger, it will be an exciting prospect.

"It’s been a wonderful 11 years at the helm, and we’ll be sad to see it go, but Hunters is an icon in its own right – long may that continue.”

Hunters has been put on the market for £550,000 and is being sold through Leeds-based business agent Ernest Wilson.