Harrods? Pah! Woodbridge boasts store with best-dressed window

Paul Venediger and Kirsteen Torrance owners of Woodbridge Kitchen Company which has beaten Harrods t

Paul Venediger and Kirsteen Torrance owners of Woodbridge Kitchen Company which has beaten Harrods to a national award Picture: CONTRIBUTED - Credit: Archant

A family-run shop has beaten the world-famous Harrods department store to bag a prestigious award for its window displays.

The snowmen bins that impressed the judges

The snowmen bins that impressed the judges - Credit: Archant

The Woodbridge Kitchen Company, in the Thoroughfare, triumphed over the Knightsbridge giant for Britain’s Best Window Display in the Housewares Innovation Awards

The judges raved about the displays which included biscuit chandeliers, rubbish bin snowmen, a cascade of teapots and an indoor beach.

The displays topped those at Harrods, whose multi-million-pound budget on window decorating has stretched to 23 glittering exhibits designed by Dolce and Gabbana, an installation of 600 shoeboxes, a circus and giant jewel-encrusted Christmas dinner.

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The teapot cascade display that beat Harrods

The teapot cascade display that beat Harrods - Credit: Archant

Paul Venediger, co-owner of the Woodbridge Kitchen Company said: “This is a staggering achievement for our business and we are absolutely delighted to have our attention to detail and creativity recognised in this way. The award makes all the hard work worthwhile.

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“We strive to create a very special shopping experience for customers and this is testament to the hard work of our whole team.”

Among recent window displays for the kitchen store included a full-size replica of the biscuit chandelier which first appeared on the Great British Bake-off.

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This was created for Choose Woodbridge, the business and tourism organisation for the town, when it entered the Great British High Street Awards – it was awarded a ‘highly commended’.

The biscuit chandelier inspired by Great British Bake Off

The biscuit chandelier inspired by Great British Bake Off - Credit: Archant

For the display everything was handmade by co-owner Kirsteen Torrance. The cost of the display was £25 – covering baking ingredients.

Meanwhile the average spend on decorating Harrods’ windows stands at £7 million.

According to Alexander Wells-Greco, Harrods’ head of visual merchandising, the store boasts 70 staff dedicated to its windows.

In an interview with fashion magazine Drapers he said: “As experts of the exceptional and makers of magic, it is our job to take our customers on a journey.

“Most schemes occur in a 360 environment. We change the windows at the front of the store 10 times a year and the side windows nine times.

“Christmas always stands out for me as it is naturally the biggest project we undertake. We spend a good 11 months working on the festive concepts and the display stays up for two months, slightly longer than normal.”

In contrast Woodbridge Kitchen Company has just four staff who execute its visuals and just one window in which to show off.

James Lightfoot, chairman of Choose Woodbridge, said: “In comparison to Harrods, the kitchen store is miniscule and yet, like David and Goliath, it has stomped all over the competition and come out on top.

“We are very proud of the Woodbridge Kitchen Company – one of our many independent businesses in the town.”

As well as beating Harrods to the best dressed window, the store was the only highly-commended retailer among the finalists in the Britain’s Best Independent Cookshop category of the awards.

Paul added: “We may well be a small business in a small market town in rural Suffolk, but what a great town Woodbridge is.

“We’re delighted to co-exist with so many wonderful independent businesses, these awards cap a great year for us, and for Woodbridge which performed so well in the Great British High Street award last summer.”

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