2015 Love Your Local awards recognise outstanding local businesses

On 20th and 27th March, Dan Watkins hosted the 2015 Balham & Tooting ‘Love Your Local’ awards at The French Café on Ritherdon Road and the Earlsfield awards at Bar 366 on Garratt Lane. The full list of winners is below.

Now in its second year, Love Your Local has helped connect residents with their local independent stores by encouraging them to nominate their favourite shops, restaurants and pubs, as well as sharing feedback on what it is they love about their high street shops.

Attendees included local residents, businesses and representatives of the Wandsworth Chamber of Commerce, all of whom joined Dan in congratulating the most nominated shops for a job well done. This year's initiative was expanded to also include shops on Bellevue Road, Wandsworth Common, and the total number of votes grew to well over a thousand.

Addressing the audience, Dan commented:

'Last year saw 91% of Wandsworth's businesses taking advantage of the £1,000 Small Business Rates Relief – the highest uptake in the country – and the good news is that this year this has been increased to £1500. But community support is important too, which is why I wanted to help Tooting’s small shops by running 'Love Your Local', and getting you the publicity and positive feedback you deserve.

 'The Conservative-led government has reduced costs for high street shops by lowering the taxes you pay on staff and property, which has helped you take on the national chains and online sellers.

‘Small businesses are at the forefront of our growing economy, creating jobs, offering a huge diversity of products and providing excellent customer service. You bring enormous character to our High Streets, and help make Tooting so distinctive – and that's what Love Your Local celebrates.'

Speaking at the Balham awards Jane Ellison MP added:

‘Since last year’s Love Your Local awards the government has announced a review into business rates – which is the top priority for the small business community. Coupled with the abolition on national insurance contributions for employees aged under 21 and a strong economy, this should make 2015 a great year for our High Street.'

Douglas Shanks of the Wandsworth Chamber of Commerce stated:

‘Dan’s been a great ambassador for the Earlsfield business community over the past ten years. His Love Your Local awards celebrate our independent shops and have done a lot of good for the high streets. We’re delighted that his ‘buy local’ scheme has really captured the imagination of local residents and taken off.’


Overall winner in Balham and Tooting:

•The Nightingale – favourite pub and winner overall


Overall winner in Earlsfield:

•Seahorse Fish Bar - favourite takeaway and winner overall


 The most nominated shops in Tooting are:

•Libo & Giovanna – favourite hairdressers and winner overall

•The Kitchen Table Café – favourite diner and 2nd place overall

•Cut the Mustard – favourite café

•Spice Village – favourite curry house

•Fisher & Co – favourite coffee shop

•Meza – favourite restaurant

•The Little Bar – favourite bar


The most nominated shops in Balham are:

•The Nightingale – favourite pub and winner overall

•The Grove Pub – 2nd place overall

•Anthony Laban - favourite hairdresser

•Harrison’s – favourite restaurant

•Lavish Habit – favourite coffee shop

•The French Café – favourite café


The most nominated shops in Earlsfield are:

•Seahorse Fish Bar - overall winner and favourite takeaway

•Bean and Hop - favourite coffee shop and overall runner-up

•Bunka - favourite clothes shop and third place overall

•Sugar Bar Blue - favourite gift shop

•Desserts Caffe - favourite cafe

•Four Mirrors Hairdressers - favourite haridressers

•Bar 366 - favourite bar

•Amaranth - favourite restaurant

•Fara Kids - favourite charity shop

•Old Sergent Pub - favourite pub


A joint category for Balham and Tooting was also introduced this year for more specialist shops. The winners here are:

•Postmark – favourite card shop

•Waldorf School Charity Shop – favourite charity shop

•Chadwick’s Butchers – favourite butchers

•Siena – favourite clothes shop

•Quirky Dovetail – favourite furniture shop

•Dee Light Bakery – favourite bakery

•Inside Man – favourite gift shop

•Hurley’s Stationers – favourite stationers

•Robbie’s Photographics – favourite photo shop

•Russell’s Hardware – favourite hardware store