Retailer Surinder Kaur Dhadwal of One Stop store in Oldbury, Birmingham has been honoured with Local Hero Award at 34th Asian Trader Awards held on Tuesday (7).
This year, the award event was held at Westminster Park Plaza Hotel in London. The compere for the evening was Nitin Ganatra, better known as Masood on EastEnders. The awards were presented by Kalpesh and Shailesh Ramniklal Solanki, Group Managing Editor and Executive Editors at Asian Trader.
Food minister Mark Spencer MP was the chief guest of the event. The awards night saw some of the most innovative and successful retailers from the UK’s independent grocery sector. Judges noted that the entries for the awards have surpassed all expectations, making this year’s competition the fiercest and most competitive one to date.
Dhadwal has proven to be as a one-person whirlwind of transformation in the community. She and her colleague saved the local library from closure, acted as “counsellors” during lockdown, support the old, lonely and inform, started a community club in the local church, support dementia sufferers, organise coffee mornings and even provide computer training. Despite all the organising and volunteering and sheer caring, she also manages to run a highly successful convenience store, of course!
Dhadwal has 20 years’ experience in retail, and is embedded her neighbourhood, where, she says, her contribution to the local community has always been trying to foster an inclusive and welcoming environment in the stores where she has worked. As a business-owner, she always aims to keep prices reasonable and offer discounts or promotions, and always listens to feedback from her customers to see how she can refine her efforts and try out new ideas to help – for example, collaborating with charities and foodbanks to help during the cost-of-living crisis.
The other two finalists in this category were Surjeet Singh Notay of Premier Notay Convenience Store, Yorkshire and Manish Suchak of Premier Convenience Coldean, Brighton.
Speaking at the event, Shefali Solanki, assistant publisher of Asian Trader, said, “The Asian Trader Awards is considered to be the most significant and important way of recognising and encouraging excellence in the convenience sector and recognising wholesalers and suppliers who play an incredible role in the supply chain to help feed the country.
“Since the inception of the awards, we have recognised some amazing retailers and wholesalers, with the help of our esteemed judges. Tonight is no different with the entries being some of the best we have ever seen.
“The winners tonight have innovated, offered home deliveries, supported their local communities, fund raised for local charities and offered free food and supplies to school children. These retailers have understood the changing needs of their customers and have adapted their stores to suit their needs.”
Below is the complete list of winners of Asian Trader Awards 2023:
Ramniklal Solanki Award for Excellence in Convenience and Wholesale: Jason Stocker, Wholesaler and Convenience Controller for Nestlé UK
Asian Trader of the Year 2023 In Association with JTI: Kalpesh (Peter) Patel, Zola Group Limited, Barming, Kent
Asian Trader Responsible Retailer of the Year Supported by JTI: Dave Hiscutt, Bassetts Londis, Weymouth
Asian Trader Wholesale Depot of the Year: AG Parfetts and Sons, Redfern Road, Tyseley, Birmingham
Asian Trader Convenience Chain of the Year Supported by Dr Beckmann: Arul Palaniappan – Premier, Grantown-On-Spey
Asian Trader Vape Convenience Retailer of the Year Supported by BAT: Nikesh Patel – S&B Supermarket LLP T/A Costcutter, Northampton
Asian Trader Bakery Retailer of the Year Supported by Warburtons: Fabio Finocchiaro – Rootes Grocery Store (Costcutter) University of Warwick
Asian Trader Next Gen Award Supported by One Stop: Kersheaup Vagadia – Kearsley Mount Precinct, Bolton
Asian Trader Independent Retailer of the Year Supported by Booker: Anila Ali – Ali’s Convenience Store, Premier, Tranent
Asian Trader Food to Go Retailer of the Year Supported by KP Snacks: Shaan Chaudry – Triple ‘a’ Foodhall, Nuneaton
Asian Trader Spirit of the Community Award Supported by Mondelēz International: Imran Ali – Day-Today, Bourtreehill Supermarket, Irvine, Ayrshire
Symbol Retailer of the Year Supported by Bestway: David Wyatt – Crawley Down Group Ltd, Costcutter/Bargain Booze, Crawley
Off Licence of the Year Supported by Molson Coors: Ehamparam Karunanithy – Premier Talbot Store, Poole
Asian Trader Impulse Retailer of the Year Supported by Pladis- Sheetal Sisodiya – Spar Lindford, Bordon
Local Hero Award Supported by Walkers- Surinder Kaur Dhadwal – One Stop, Oldbury, Birmingham
Asian Trader Businesswoman of the Year Supported by PML- Kay Patel – Witley Village Store, Witley, Surrey
Convenience Product Awards winners 2023
Snack brand of the year: McCoy’s Epic Eats KP Snacks
Soft Drinks Brand of the Year: Monster Energy Lewis Hamilton Zero Sugar Coca-Cola Europacific Partners
Confectionery Brand of the Year: Galaxy Smooth Mint Mars Wrigley
Vape and Next Generation Brand of the Year: Blu Bar Imperial Tobacco
Lager, Beer and Cider Brand of the Year: Madri Excepcional Molson Coors
Asian Trader Grocery Brand of the Year: McVitie’s Gold Billions Wafer – Pladis