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Hadleigh: First Class Greetings card shop among the winners at the ‘Retas’ awards

16:20 18 July 2014

Debbie and Jerry Brown, centre, owners of First Class Greetings in Hadleigh, receive their award as Best Independent Card Retailer in East Anglia.

Debbie and Jerry Brown, centre, owners of First Class Greetings in Hadleigh, receive their award as Best Independent Card Retailer in East Anglia.

The owners of a greetings card shop in Hadleigh are celebrating after picking up an industry award at a ceremony in London.

This year’s winners of the greeting card retailing awards known as The Retas were revealed during an awards event at London’s Dorchester Hotel which was attended by nearly 400 people.

The Retas, launched in 2005 by Progressive Greetings Worldwide magazine, recognise excellence across the whole greeting cards retailing spectrum, from independents on the high streets, to mini chains, national multiples, garden centres, department stores and supermarkets, as well as art and framing shops.

First Class Greetings, based in Hadleigh High Street, beat off stiff opposition to win the Best Independent Greeting Card Retailer in East Anglia award.

First Class Greetings, which also includes Hadleigh’s and the post office, is a family business run by Debbie and Jerry Brown. Their daughter, Alex, also helps part-time in the shop.

The large trophy is now on display in the window. Jerry said: “We are absolutely over the moon. This is a fantastic honour. It was a surprise. We found out on the night.

“We just got a letter through the post to say we were one of six short-listed for our particular award. We have been here for seven years now and have had great support from our customers here. Before that we ran Elmsett village stores and post office,” he said.

“I tend to run the post office side here, and Debbie looks after the greetings cards. We have to thank our staff too. We couldn’t do it without them. They are an absolutely fantastic bunch.”

The winners in all the retail categories were decided through a huge nationwide nomination process.

Earlier this year, more than 2,000 Retas forms were distributed to UK greeting card publishers, who nominated the retailers that they felt to be the worthy winners in each of the categories.

The awards ceremony, which had a Vintage Travel theme, was hosted by celebrity and comedian Rob Deering.

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