Susie Hawkins, partner in the Gloucestershire-based Simon Smith Group, has been crowned this year’s Forecourt Trader of the Year, at the petrol retailing industry’s most prestigious awards ceremony, held at London’s Hilton Park Lane hotel on September 15.
Susie’s Total-branded petrol station in Barnwood, which opened in May following a complete knock-down rebuild development worth £1million, has a 2,800sq ft Budgens-branded shop offering an extensive range of fresh and chilled foods, grocery, off licence, and hot food to go.
The neighbourhood forecourt, which fought off stiff competition from the rural, main route and motorway site category winners, has a curved forecourt canopy with bright red LED lighting and a steel carwash building with blue-tinted glass, which gives Barnwood Budgens an eye-catching futuristic look.
The judges from industry magazine Forecourt Trader, which organises the Forecourt Trader of the Year Awards, were particularly impressed by the little extras offered by Barnwood Budgens, such as a digital photo printing facility, post box and car mat cleaning machine.
Other overall category winners included Sharon McKenna of Vivo Templepatrick, Country Antrim with the Best Rural Site; Mike Dearing of Chatham Road Service Station in Maidstone, Kent with the Best Main Route Site, and Carol O’Hara of Hartmill North Connect in Shotts, Lanarkshire for the Best Motorway Site.
The rural, neighbourhood and main route categories are broken down my forecourt ownership status – oil company/supermarket owned and managed; oil company owned/franchisee operated; independent with nine sites or fewer; and independent with 10 sites or more. Each winner of these categories, then competes for the overall category winners, and the title of Forecourt Trader of the Year.
The full list of winners is as follows…
Oil company/supermarket owned and managed oil company: Sharon McKenna, Vivo Templepatrick, Country Antrim
Oil company owned/franchisee operated: Jacqueline Martindale, Hightrees Filling Station, Donagmadee, Northern Ireland
Independent with nine sites or fewer: Evelyn Spence, Mace Portagovie, County Down
Oil company/supermarket owned and managed oil company: Martin Reynolds, Spar Ballyhackamore, Belfast
Oil company owned/franchisee operated: Ranjit Munde, Murco Service Station, Redland, Bristol
Independent with nine sites or fewer: Susie Hawkins, Barnwood Budgens, Gloucestershire
Independent with 10 sites or more: Nadarajah Sivakumar, Snax 24, Wrexham Road, Johnstown, Clwyd
Oil company/supermarket owned and managed oil company: Joanne Kitching, United Co-op, Netherpoppleton, York
Oil company owned/franchisee operated: John Montgomery, Ring Service Station, Norwich, Norfolk
Independent with nine sites or fewer: Mike Dearing, Chatham Road Service Station in Maidstone, Kent
The Awards also award excellence in individual specialist areas. And the winners were:
Best Site with a Licence to Sell Alcohol: Peter Bellini, Bellini’s, Ilkeston, Derbyshire
Best Car Care and Lubricants Outlet: Daniel Okeke, Twenty Miles Service Station, West Kingsdown, Kent
Best Display of Chilled Foods: Peter Bellini, Bellini’s, Ilkeston, Derbyshire
Best Confectionery Outlet: Balasundram Visvanathan, Wrotham Heath Service Station, Kent
Best Crisps and Snacks Outlet: Susie Hawkins, Barnwood Budgens, Gloucestershire
Best Customer Service: Jonathan Sykes, Jonsted Garages, Holmfirth, West Yorkshire
Best Food-to-Go Outlet: Kevin Hawkins, BP/Spar Westacre Service Station, Salisbury, Wiltshire
Best Forecourt Facilities: Susie Hawkins, Barnwood Budgens, Gloucestershire
Best Soft Drinks Outlet: Catisa Ash, TCS Swindon, Oxfordshire
Best Use of Retail Technology: Susie Hawkins, Barnwood Budgens, Gloucestershire
Best Tobacco Merchandising: Paula Hughes, Princes Drive Service Station, Colwyn Bay, Conwy