The fastest growing franchise convenience store retail brand in South Africa, FreshStop, opened its 300thstore at 928 King Cetshwayo Highway in Sherwood, Durban. Freshstop at Caltex 45th Cutting in Sherwood is so named after the Sherwood Foresters, a nickname attributed to the 45th Regiment of Foot of the British Army, stationed here during the middle of the 19th century. The cutting through a hill, valiantly carried out with pick and shovel for which they were responsible, is still called ’45th cutting’ to this day.
Currently in its 10th year of trading, FreshStop opened its first store in Table View in 2009 after an alliance had developed between its owners, Food Lover’s Market and the owners of the Caltex brand, Chevron.
FreshStop at Caltex continues to lead the industry in innovation and this store features a few of the in-house food brands that have become popular. In addition to FreshStop 45th Cutting’s range of fresh fruit and vegetables, selection of grocery items and Pitstop Café for hot takeaway meals, there are Hooked On fish & chips and Grill to Go outlets as well as a Seattle Coffee Bar with barista service. The store also has a larger than normal Grab n Go section for the on-the-go customer wanting a quick pasta, salad, wrap or sandwich; and a FreshStop Diner, the first of its kind in KwaZulu-Natal, which has the look and feel of a modern American diner and offers customers free wifi and power point sockets.
Before opening last week, the site had been closed for three years as Trevor Visvanathan, store retailer, worked behind the scenes on knocking down and completely rebuilding it to create a brand new FreshStop at Caltex fuel retail experience. Visvanathan has been in the fuel retail industry for decades and brings with him immense experience and expertise. His FreshStop at Caltex portfolio includes the Bird Sanctuary site in Pietermaritzburg, FreshStop Christiaan de Wet in Gauteng, and FreshStops Redhill and Che Guevara in Durban. He also plans on opening a further two FreshStop at Caltex stores this year.
“I am passionate about the industry and the brand; and proud to say that I am also the chairman of the FreshStop Franchise Forum. I have experienced for myself that what you put into your business is what you get out of it. It is also very rewarding to see the growth of your people and their skills as the years pass,” says Visvanathan. Through the opening of his past five stores, Trevor has created employment for close to 300 people, with FreshStop 45th Cutting itself contributing 70 jobs to this number.
To celebrate the opening of FreshStop at Caltex 45th Cutting as its 300th store, FreshStop will be giving away R300,000 worth of fuel vouchers as part of a national competition and promotions will take place across the country. “We have put the best we could put into this site; there were no cutting of corners. I truly believe that the local community here deserves the best and we’re here to offer it to them going forward,” adds Visvanathan.