Two forecourt operators were recognised in last night’s Convenience Awards 2024

Forecourt operators Tout’s and Sterling Petroleum were recognised in last night’s prestigious Convenience Awards 2024, run by our sister brand Convenience Store.

Sterling Petroleum’s managing director Nakendram Piratheepan (Theepan), was named Convenience Rising Star of the Year, having made a name for himself transforming small and sometimes run-down forecourts across Wales and the South West into thriving businesses.

“Bursting onto the scene in 2020, Theepan has built a portfolio of 18 sites across Wales and the South-West of England,” said Convenience Store editor Aidan Fortune. “Theepan worked at the first of his sites in Mid Glamorgan to properly understand the business and community to help him grow his estate. Not content with growing his store empire, Theepan is currently taking a Masters in International Business at the University of Gloucestershire.”

“He has already invested heavily in his business, upgrading his stores to enhance both the fuel and food to go offerings,” added Fortune. “And as well as managing the stores, he has also committed to giving 10% of the business’ profits to charity, working with his staff to determine which charities should benefit from this generous offer.”

Meanwhile, the indomitable Tout’s won Store/Refit of the Year for its best in class store in Cleeve, North Somerset.

The family-owned business, now run by second generation Jonathan Tout and his wife Zena, has been on a run of collecting silverware. In 2023 alone it won two other significant industry titles. It was named Forecourt Trader of the Year at the Forecourt Trader Awards in 2023, and the three-store business was recognised by The Grocer, another sister publication of Forecourt Trader, with a Gold award as Independent Retail Chain of the Year.

Convenience Store editor Aidan Fortune said that Tout’s Cleeve stood out for last night’s awards on several counts. “Tout’s Cleeve has been tailor-made for the local community and provides a unique twist on a traditional forecourt store,” said Fortune. Featuring an eye-catching design that creates a unique shopper journey, Tout’s Cleeve has been impressing shoppers as well as the judging panel for this category.

“With a focus on hero categories such as fresh produce, meat, bread and cakes, food to go and alcohol, the store combines a solid branded grocery offering with local suppliers.”

The store has also benefitted from a significant investment in technology, with media screens to market to customers and electronic shelf-edge labelling to reduce time spent changing labels as well as the Tout’s loyalty card which runs across the family’s estate, he added.