TWO shops in the same small town are in the running for the same nation accolade.

The Guild of Fine Food’s annual Shop of the Year awards, has announced its shortlist for 2018 and two Helmsley delis are among those in the running for the Best Delicatessen award.

Both Hunters of Helmsley and Thomas of Helmsley will now undergo two further rounds of judging this summer, including an announced visit from one of the judges and a mystery shop by Shopper’s Anonymous.

Previously forming part of the Great Taste accreditation scheme, Shop of the Year has evolved to apply a more rigorous and robust judging process dedicated solely to retail.

From the overall shopping experience and financial performance to staff training opportunities and environmental initiatives, the panel of judges, will rate, score and feedback on every aspect of Hunters and Thomas’ before agreeing on an overall category winner.

The chair of the Helmsley in Business group, Tony Porter, said: “Both Hunters and Thomas’ are a key part of the Helmsley community, and they are a big draw for people from far and wide.

"Helmsley has a long-standing reputation for being somewhere food lovers flock to, so it’s no surprise to us that the town has two representatives on the list."

He added: "Both shops are very different, but they’re both havens for anyone who loves good food and drink. We’re delighted for them and wish them the very best of luck.”

The competition will reach its finale on September 20 at the Guild of Fine Food's London headquarters when the winners will be announced.