Former Forecourt Trader of the Year James Graven & Sons has opened a new eco forecourt with Spar convenience store on a greenfield site following an investment of £1.5m.

The Spar James Graven store in Littleport, Cambridgeshire, operated by Jonathan James, combines the local name and history of an independent family retailer, with the established branding of Spar.

To promote the store’s pride in the unique geography of its local region, one of the Fens’ famous bog oaks will be displayed in the forecourt, with an educational lectern to explain its significance.

The 1,450sq ft store has been designed with James Graven branding on display inside and out with signage, plaques and photographs. Notice boards and community boards are also on view, to heighten the local neighbourhood feel.

A comprehensive convenience offering includes a broad selection of hot food to go with a separate counter, which is open every day from 6am to 10pm.

The store also strongly supports its local community, offering products from local suppliers in its range, for example Cambridgeshire beers, wine from Ely vineyards and local bread.

All the fridges in the store have sliding doors and POS material has been provided to promote the environmental savings and advantages of using the doors. The site also reuses rain water for its car wash, and natural wood and exposed brickwork has been used in the design to give a more natural feel. The site took three years in the planning and constructing.

Store owner Jonathan said: “Although this is a Spar store, I wanted my customers to know that it’s owned and run by a family firm. The store is as Spar as can be, but I wanted to show that it’s also an independent business.

“I am so proud to see the finished project, and this is a very exciting time, seeing how the site is going to develop and how sales will grow.”