• New Maxol Recharge EV Hub opens with four ultra-rapid chargers 

• New Spar store with latest Delish deli and in-store bakery  

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(L-R) Brian Donaldson, Maxol CEO  with Nicola Farrell, Braid River site manager 

Northern Ireland-based forecourt and convenience retailer Maxol, has completed its transformation of Maxol Braid River Service Station in central Ballymena following an investment of £2.35 million.   

The investment is part of a wider five-year £84m capital investment programme across The Maxol Group to create a network of convenience-led forecourt services that offer customers quality, value and choice on everything from fresh coffee and groceries to food-to-go on their doorstep.   

A new Ultra Rapid EV charging hub - the second to be developed by Maxol and the second of its kind in Northern Ireland – has opened and features four high-powered 200kw ultra-rapid chargers that charge a single vehicle in as little as 15 minutes. The chargers are powered using renewable electricity, as part of Maxol’s sustainability strategy. 

Maxol Braid River offers the latest Spar concept with a new store of 246 sq m. Customers can now shop for everyday grocery essentials including a greater choice of fresh, locally sourced fruit and vegetables, a wide range of dairy and chilled produce and a huge selection of frozen foods. Other new additions include a locally produced range of pre-packed butchery items and a wide selection of ready-made meals perfect for tonight’s tea.      

From breakfast through to lunchtime, a new Delish deli offers customers a range of hot food to go - freshly prepared on-site to take away. Also new, is an in-store bakery offering a range of pastries and sweet treats alongside the popular Barista Bar Coffee which has doubled to two units making it easier for customers to grab and go. For something colder there are two new Frozen Coca Cola and Frozen Fanta slushie machines.  

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(L-R) is Kevin Paterson, Maxol retail manager NI,  with Nicola Farrell, Braid River site manager and Brian Donaldson, Maxol CEO 

Two self-checkouts have also been installed to give customers even more choice, efficiency and convenience. Non-food items available include a comprehensive range of Maxol own-brand engine oil, adblue and car care products.  

On the forecourt car parking facilities have more than doubled to 32 spaces to provide greater customer convenience, particularly during busy trading periods. Premium Fuels have been introduced to enable customers to make greener motoring choices and pay-at-pump technology is now available at two islands.   

Maxol’s sustainable forecourt design has been fully implemented at Maxol Braid River. The latest technology has been used to reduce the site’s carbon footprint which includes photovoltaic (solar) panels to reduce electrical import requirements; solar efficient glazing; the use of LED lights; low energy CO2 refrigeration systems with doors fitted throughout the store; exhaust air-heat pump technology to reduce heating loads; and an energy management system to monitor and control the overall energy usage on the site.  

Brian Donaldson, chief executive officer of The Maxol Group said: “We are delighted with our latest investment at Maxol Braid River. It is now a modern, welcoming store that marks a further milestone on our journey towards becoming known for our convenience-led retail offer.   

“Customers can now pop into this store to enjoy freshly prepared food-to-go from the Delish deli or they can do a basket shop in our newly expanded Spar store packed with an extensive range of groceries for every meal occasion from breakfast through to dinner as well as plenty of snacks and treats.   

“The in-store offer reflects the ‘Bags More’ advertising campaign we launched some weeks ago to highlight the range of goods now available at Maxol stores and Braid River is now a leading example of that in Ballymena with our partner Spar.    

“This is our second EV Charging Hub designed to offer the latest technology and fastest speed of charging available for our customers along with the continued rollout of our sustainable forecourt design. This investment reenforces our continued commitment to being a more sustainable forecourt convenience retailer offering the highest quality of facilities and products. The site is operated independently by our licensee Aramark and I wish Nicola and her excellent team every success at Maxol Braid River.” 

Sarah Halliday, channel sales manager at Henderson Group which owns the Spar franchise in Northern Ireland said: “The Braid River site is a fantastic example of how we can collaborate with our retail partners to create modern forecourts that are delivering exactly what our shoppers need, right on their doorsteps. This is a store which puts the shopper first with facilities which work towards both Maxol and Henderson Group’s sustainability goals. The future-proof forecourt is complemented by efficient coffee and food-to-go services in-store, which also provides a huge choice of fresh and locally sourced products and everyday essentials at a high level of quality and value that our shoppers have come to expect from their neighbourhood Spar store.” 

Maxol Braid River also offers customers an ATM, customer toilets and air, water and vacuum services and operates 24/7, seven days a week.