A ROYTON shopkeeper has been named Convenience Retailer of the Year at the Convenience Retail Awards in London.
Justin Whittaker, owner of Premier branded MJ’s Store on Richmond Avenue, collected the accolade at the Royal Lancaster Hotel along with the award for Best Small Store.
The recently-refitted 1,400sq ft community store was praised for its high standards and investment in innovation, including a dessert bar offering, dedicated food to go zone, chilled beer room and local delivery service.
Accompanied by his family – wife Melanie, son Leon and daughter Savannah – Justin said: “It is our first time at the Convenience Retail Awards.
“So, to come away with so many awards is really something. As a team and family we have worked really hard this past year so it is nice that we can celebrate all our work.
“I’m amazed that we won the main award and it came as a total shock to all of us.
“We’ve tried lots of new things to get customers into the store and have introduced things like crepes and waffles to our dessert menu.
“It really means the world that we have been recognised and we are constantly looking at ways to improve and make sure that we can be the best convenience store in the future.
“I think in the convenience industry you have to look at what everyone else is doing and learn from that to take your business to the next level.”
The Convenience Retail Awards is organised by sister titles Convenience Store and The Grocer.
Convenience Store editor David Rees said: “Justin and his family have taken some bold steps to future-proof their store in line with changing customer needs, without losing the local connection that has served them so well for the past 30 years of trading.”