Awards recognise Wandsworth business excellence

Wandsworth Guardian: Dan Watkins with winners Libo & Giovanna Dan Watkins with winners Libo & Giovanna

Balham and Tooting businesses have been honoured in the ‘Love Your Local’ awards.

Since December the initiative has been encouraging residents to vote for their favourite shops, restaurants and pubs.

Tooting’s overall winner was the hairdressers Libo and Giovanna on Upper Tooting Road.

The most voted for business in Balham was Grove Food & Wine on Chestnut Grove.

Angela Palladrino, one of three sisters who run Libo & Giovanna, said: "Our family took the shop on in 1970, and it is down to our parents that we’ve been able to take a successful business on and keep making our customers happy.

"Thanks to everyone who voted for us.’ Love Your Local was started by the Conservative Parliamentary spokesman for Tooting, Dan Watkins.

Mr Watkins, who hosted the awards ceremony, said: "The winners of these awards are representative of our diverse range of local shops.

"They included stores that have been successfully serving the community for 30, 40 or even 50 years, and those that have opened in the past 6 months and quickly built up a loyal following.

"I'm delighted that all of our winners, and the many other nominated shops, have received so many votes of support from Tooting's residents."

The event was attended by the MP for Battersea Jane Ellison, representatives from the Wandsworth Chambers of Commerce, and members of the Federation for Small Businesses.

Steve Pinto, chairman of the Wandsworth Chamber of Commerce, said: "I have known Dan since he started his business in Earlsfield ten years ago, and we're pleased that in his political role he has chosen to help our local shops.

"These businesses operate in a very competitive environment and our local politicans and business networks need to rally round them and help them thrive."

The Love Your Local Awards took place at The French Cafe on Balham’s Ritherdon Road on February 28.

Most nominated shops in Tooting:

• Libo & Giovanna - favourite hairdressers and overall winner. 

• Egg Free Cake Box - favourite cake shop and 2nd overall. 

• Bonnie's Pets - favourite florists and 3rd place overall. 

• Kitchen Table - favourite café/restaurant • Fisher & Co - favourite coffee shop. 

• Meza - favourite restaurant. 

• Mirch masala - favourite curry house. 

• Naked Loaf - favourite shop in Furzedown. 

• Graveney & Meadow - favourite pub.

Most nominated shops in Balham:

• Grove Food & Wine - favorite convenience store and overall winner.

• Lavish Habit - favourite coffee shop and 2nd overall.

• Quirky Dovetail - favourite furniture shop and 3rd overall.

• The French Café - favourite restaurant.

• The Regent - favourite pub.

• Postmark - favourite card shop.

• Whippet - favourite gift shop.

• Sewing Craft Superstore - favourite craft store.

• Parade Fish Bar - favourite take-away


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