Spar Pentraeth retailers Jill and Paul Lewis have deservedly taken Blakemore Trade Partners’ prestigious Baldwin Trophy for 2015.
They were awarded the accolade, which recognises outstanding retailers across the Spar Meridian & Welsh Guild, at this year’s Blakemore Trade Partners Spar Retail Show, held in Telford in October.
This fantastic achievement follows a challenging few months for the retailers, after a fire broke out in their store in April – burning their store to the ground.
But thanks to their sheer hard work, determination, and logistical and financial assistance from Blakemore Trade Partners, Jill and Paul were running their store again within just four weeks, from a temporary site on the driveway next door.
Jill Lewis said: “I am really honoured to win the Baldwin Trophy, and at this exciting time for us. Our plans to rebuild a permanent store are now well underway, and we expect to be open before Christmas.
“Our new store will be even bigger and better than before, with a post office and food-to-go, as well as a wider range,” she added.
Amarjit Bhdaal judged this the award, bringing his many years of retail experience to the role. He said that Jill and Paul and their positive attitude and their phoenix from the ashes story “just blew him away”.
“After four weeks, most retailers would still have been grieving the loss of their site, but they were back trading having identified the need in the village,” he said.
“They even got Lotto and a Post Office installed along with a Costa Machine. They have sweated the assets of the site to ensure every tiny piece of space delivers and they have juggled shifts across their three sites to keep all of their staff in jobs.
“The new site will be phenomenal and we can’t wait for it to launch,” he added.
Other finalists included:
Tristan & Rebecca King, Spar Retford
John & Jean Fleet, Spar Emneth
Chris & Nicola Ward, Spar Milford Haven
Julian & Jackie Taylor Green, Spar Lindford
Simon Aubrey, Spar Deal
Plans are now in progress to open the permanent store in the next few weeks.
Jill Lewis added: “We are very excited about opening our bigger and better store. It will also include a Subway, Post Office and food-to-go. We would not have been able to do this without the support of Blakemore Trade Partners – in particular our business development manager and the logistical and financial assistance that was provided to get us up and running in the few weeks after the fire. The whole episode has really highlighted the support benefits of Blakemore Trade Partners. We are looking forward to 2016!”