HUNTERS of Helmsley is celebrating after being crowned the best independent retailer in the north.

The deli has been awarded the title following a public vote run by the Great British Food Awards 2019.

It beat off stiff competition from hundreds of other delis to be included on a shortlist of five retailers in the north, before claiming the top spot.

More than 14,000 votes were cast in a number of reader-voted categories, while celebrity chefs including the Hairy Bikers, Raymond Blanc and John Torode judged others. The awards, which are in their sixth year, are run by Great British Food Magazine.

Christine Garnett, who owns Hunters with husband Chris, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have won this prestigious title. Thank you to everyone who voted for us, it means such a lot.

"We feel passionate about good food and drink and supporting local producers and suppliers, so it’s always wonderful to know that people enjoy what we offer.

"Thank you also to our wonderful team who always go out of their way to help customers find what they’re looking for – or discover a new favourite.”

Natasha Lovell-Smith, editor at Great British Food magazine, said: "Famed for its excellent customer service and wide range of products, this is the place to go for local specialties, homemade preserves, fine wines, gift hampers and lots more.”