The main route category was hotly contested in the Forecourt Trader of the Year Awards. amy lanning catches up with the winners
Oil Co/Supermarket-owned & Managed
Spar Brackenvale is no stranger to the Forecourt Trader of the Year Awards, and the site is every bit as good with Gary Brady (pictured) at the helm. So good, in fact, that Gary has since been promoted to manage a cluster of sites for the Henderson Group in Northern Ireland.
"I’m now looking after a couple of stores so I’m on the road a lot," says Gary. "The promotion came to light a week after the Forecourt Trader awards."
While no longer managing Spar Brackenvale, Gary is hoping to replicate his success there with his new stores. Brackenvale is set in the heart of the community employing 52 staff, and has a vast number of concessions on site, including hot food, deli, off licence, butchery counter, gardening area, coal, gas, lottery and a post office.
"The key to success is having motivated, multi-skilled staff who are enthusiastic and passionate about what they do. We focus on the highest possible customer service levels and a pleasant shopping experience and environment for our customers."
Independent Dealer - with up to 9 sites
Situated on the outskirts of Holywood town on the main commuter route from Bangor to Belfast, Torange Filling Station was redeveloped a year ago, creating an impressive and refreshing offer for commuting and neighbourhood shoppers.
The ethos at Torgrange is very simple: give the customers value for money, fantastic service and a clean, relaxing and safe environment.
The site is something of a one-stop shop with a variety of services including in-store Subway franchise, Grange Wine Merchants and a hot food takeaway, along with plenty of car parking, public toilets, lottery, Epay, LPG Autogas, HGV Fastfill, household fuels and bottle gas.
Tom Bell (pictured) is now running a new business but his highly-experenced floor sales manager, Colin Lorimer, is continuing to uphold the company ethos with his excellent attention to detail.
Independent Dealer - 10 sites or more
New-build First Point Services is the latest addition to the Brookfield Group network. It opened in March 2010.
The sprawling forecourt boasts 17 petrol, HGV and LPG pumps. Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the high-volume site serves more than 8,000 customers a week, with 99% of the fuel-buying customers purchasing something from the store’s product range too.
The shop offers a vast selection of convenience and food-to-go products, including a Cooplands bakery and Douwe Egberts coffee offer.
Promotions feature heavily, and the site supports Nisa-Today’s Making A Difference Locally charity.
Raj Patel (pictured) and store manager Umar Patel, focus on creating a pleasant shopping experience with high levels of customer service. The store has high standards of cleanliness, a vast product range, well-presented and motivated staff and good decor throughout.
Scaffog Filling Station or Parkinson’s, as it is known in Enniskillen, has been an integral part of the local community for more than 40 years.
Last year the store underwent a major redevelopment to meet the needs of the community as well as the increasing cross-border trade. The Maxol-branded site now features a spacious forecourt with ample parking, cash point, and car valet services, along with a sizeable modern Spar store, including an impressive foodservice operation with cafe area.
Franchisee Colin Parkinson says the site’s success is all down to the staff: "The staff work very hard to maintain the high standards we set," he says. "We have a very successful deli/hot food area, which is very well run and managed, and brings in a large number of repeat customers."