Friday September 28 saw members and suppliers from all over the Southern Region coming together to celebrate all that’s best about the independent retailer sector at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Reading.
The annual Southern Region Awards are all about recognising high standards and innovation and a raft of trophies and certificates were presented by senior NFRN officials and leading industry figures from major FMCG companies.
Due to the exceptionally high standards among finalists in the Store2Door deliverer category, the judges took the unusual step of recognising two winners, as well as presenting merit awards.
A highlight for this year was the presentation to Alex Van Straubenzee, the outgoing chief executive of NewstrAid, of the first Southern Region Special Services Award. Commenting afterwards, Alex said that he was “extremely shocked” to receive the award, but it meant so much to him. He added that he was extremely proud of the work that NewstrAid did for its beneficiaries and of the extremely close relationship between the NFRN and the charity.
Winners of the Southern Region Local Member of the Year, which was presented by NFRN National President Mike Mitchelson, were John and Anne Lowman for their commitment to the NFRN in general and also to the London District over the past 30 years. John said that they were both choked to receive the award and all he ever tried to do was his best and to follow on in the footsteps of his father.
Another first for the awards, as well as the usual raffles and games to raise money for both the NFRN Charitable Funds and NewstrAid (Old Ben), was the Retail Mutual “experience”. This took the form of four prizes for attendees who had a winning ticket taped to the bottom of the Retail Mutual drinks coasters. Thanks to all these fund raising efforts, over £1100 was raised at the event for the two charities.
The pictures are now up!
Details on how to access all the fantastic pictures from the awards night can be found below. Photos supplied by Diane Frazer Photography
To download the digital photos:
Access code: BDLCE280918NFRN
Ordering for optional prints and giftware:
The finalists and winners
Responsible Selling Retailer of the Year
Finalists: Rizwana Rafique, Rafiques Supermarket, Southampton – Raj Patel, Newsbox, Loughton, Essex – Vishnu Patel, Nike Newsagents, Dunstable
Winner: Raj Patel, Newsbox, Loughton, Essex
Convenience Retailer – Independent
Finalists: Ray Monelle, Orchard News, Weston-Super-Mare – Kunal Patel, Global Food & Wine, Wanstead, London – Jayendra Kshatri, The Connoisseur, Wallington, Surrey
Winner: Kunal Patel, Global Food & Wine, Wanstead, London
Convenience Retailer – Symbol
Finalists: Sudesh Patel, Londis, Coulsdon – Metan Lakhani, St.Mary’s Supermarket, Southampton – Ketanji Odedra, Cherilyn Ltd, Pulborough, Qwest
Winner: Metan Lakhani, St.Mary’s Supermarket, Southampton
Collectable Product Retailer
Finalists: Pradriya Bari, Divine Brothers Ltd, Hackney, London – Dhiren Sheth, The Pagoda, Ealing, London – Harshal Kshatri, The Connoisseur, Wallington, Surrey
Winner: Harshal Kshatri, The Connoisseur, Wallington, Surrey
Store2Door Agent of the Year
Finalists: Ray Culverwell, J G Riley Newsagents, Milton, Southsea, Hants Chetan Patel, Nick & Vic News, Hornchurch, Essex Kerry McGorrin – Fuller, Wingham Newsagents, Canterbury, Kent
Winner: Chetan Patel, Nick & Vic News, Hornchurch, Essex
Store2Door Deliverer of the Year
Finalists: Illlias Fisk / Daniel Talbot, The Paper Shop, Gravesend, Kent – Leo Bilton, Graham News, Hayward’s Heath, Sussex – Jade Lewis, The Pagoda, Ealing, London
Winner: Illlias Fisk / Daniel Talbot, The Paper Shop, Gravesend, Kent
Merit Awards Winners
Leo Bilton, Graham News, Hayward’s Heath, Sussex and Jade Lewis, The Pagoda, Ealing, London
Off Licence Award
Finalists: Kamlesh Patel, Londis, Manor Park, London – Volauthapillai Thevarajah, Nyetimber Convenience Stores, West Sussex – Kunal Patel, Global Food & Wine, Wanstead, London
Winner: Kamlesh Patel, Londis, Manor Park, London
Technology Award (3R)
Winner: Ghanshyam Patel, Royal Bassett News, Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire
Finalists: Sameer & Rhanda Phillips, MacFarlane’s Newsagents, Brighton, Sussex – Lakshmi & Dheerup Patel, Smokers Paradise, Wickford, Essex – Dipak & Jayshree Shah, H & R News, Camberley, Surrey
Winner: Dipak & Jayshree Shah, H & R News, Camberley, Surrey
Winner: Shailesh Patel, W H Smith Local & Post Office, Purley, Surrey
Finalists: Hiten & Ushma Amin, Londis, North Cheam, Surrey – Sudesh Patel, Londis, Coulsdon, Surrey – Ketanji Odedra, Cherliyn Ltd, Pulborough, West Sussex
Winner: Hiten & Ushma Amin, Londis, North Cheam, Surrey
Local Supplier of the Year
Winner: Youings Wholesale, Barnstaple, Devon
Local Service Provider
Winner: Tony Lyles, Ritmeester Cigars
Southern Region Special Services Award
Winner: Alex Van Straubenzee, CEO, NewstrAid (Old Ben)
Local Member of the Year
Winner: John & Anne Lowman – London District