We catch up with the four winners of the Forecourt Trader of the Year Neighbourhood Store category.

Independent Dealer with up to nine sites



Jay, Lata and Bhupa Gohil (pictured right) not only won the overall category award for Best Neighbourhood store, they also took the top accolade Forecourt Trader of the Year 2010 for their Cosford Garage in Albrighton in the West Midlands.


Bhupa, husband to Lata and father of Jay, says: "After 25 years of hard work, to be recognised by the industry is some achievement; we feel really proud."


The family team ensures their Budgens store delivers exactly what customers want by undertaking a ’stock-profiling’ exercise every six months to find out what’s selling and what’s sitting on shelves. Extra space is then given to the best-performing lines.




Oil Co/Supermarket-owned & Managed


Esso Kings Drive Service Station on the outskirts of Eastbourne services the local community including a hospital and sixth form college 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Facilities include pay@pump for customers in a hurry, a modern Tiger Wash, plenty of free parking plus a free-to-use ATM.

The On the Run convenience store includes groceries, confectionery, soft drinks, alcohol and a Costa Coffee and hot food offer. As well as winning the Forecourt Trader of the Year category award, site manager Marcel Grabowski and his team were the proud recipients of a 100% score in the Esso Mystery Shopper programme together with a 100% ’coffee excellence’ grading from Costa Coffee.

The team is described as "friendly, professional and always ready to help".




Oil company-owned/franchisee/com-op


You’d never believe it to look at it now, but Saintfield Service Station in County Down was destroyed by fire in 2006. The owners the Kydd family re-opened one year later with a £1.5m state-of-the-art forecourt. The family has never looked back and business continues to go from strength to strength, priding itself on its family values, high levels of customer service and strong local knowledge.

The store converted to Spar in 2009. The range and services are regularly reviewed to ensure they meet consumer demand. The Kydds are always on the lookout for new initiatives.

The latest at this site is a Tim Horton’s coffee solution offering customers high-quality drinks that complement their hot and cold deli solutions.

General manager, Sara Carvill (right), says they are particularly proud of their community work. They do fundraising for local schools and sponsor sports days as well as support the local cricket club.




Independent Dealer - 10 sites or more


Continuous improvement has been key to Euro Garages’ Blackford Bridge site’s success. The forecourt at Bury in Lancashire underwent a complete refurbishment in 2009 to transform it into an attractive, clean and fully serviceable amenity that the local community could rely on 24 hours a day.

The forecourt’s services were improved as the site is on the busy A56 commuter route from Bury to Manchester.

Changes included a new canopy, new pumps and 10 parking spaces as well as the UK’s first ever forecourt format from bakery retailer Greggs.

"We spotted an opportunity to serve our customers by providing a car valeting solution. An Air Vac, two new jet washes and a rollover car wash were installed to meet this demand," adds Euro Garages’ head of retail operations, Salim Hassan (left).