A FONDNESS for cheese and craft beers have seen a popular shop nominated for this year’s Reading Retail Awards.

Charlie and Anne-Marie Beatty are in the running to win the ‘Your Favourite Shop’ award after many years of serving the town from Harris Arcade.

As well as providing for a loyal following of customers, the duo offer bespoke ‘cheese wedding cakes’ which have proven very popular in the run-up to the Royal Wedding.

Now in its fifth year of trading, The Grumpy Goat offers a wide selection of high-quality cheese and nearly 500 types of beer and spirits.

Anne-Marie said: “We have established ourselves in the community and it is constantly rewarding because we have such a loyal following of people who keep coming back to the shop.

“I think what has made us so successful is being part of lots of events in the community.

“We will be involved with the Water Festival this year and we have lots of corporate events and tasting events.

“People know that we are here even though we are tucked away.

“It is an art form and I think people care more about where their food is coming and how the products are made.

“That is something that we can offer customers that the bigger supermarkets can’t offer, as well as having a close relationship with people.”

As well as helping local traders to flourish, they are also keen to travel all over the world to see how other countries’ habits towards the craft beer scene have changed.

Charlie added: “We both absolutely love this brand.

"There was a gap in the market when we established ourselves and people did not have a place to get their cheese from.

“We stock Dutch, Belgian and Estonian beers and now we have developed our cheese stocks to reflect what is working on the Continent.

“We are trying to bring likeminded people together who all enjoy the same thing. The feedback we get means more to us than anything.”

“Cheese wedding cakes are proving very popular. We stack the cheese and people have them as well as the traditional cake.”

Nominations for this year’s Reading Retail Awards are still open and entry forms are available from The Oracle.