Retailer Kay Patel of Witley Village Store in Surrey has won Businesswoman of the Year honour 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.
Married at 19 and a mum at 20, Patel took on her first store just two weeks after the birth of her first child, who in her words, grew up in the “shop’s store room”. More children and more stores followed yet she always threw herself in at the deep end of learning more.
By stepping out of her comfort zone, Patel has made a great success of her business career, and now has a five-store turnover “comfortably” in seven figures. A hectic and definitely uncomfortable recent six-month period culminated in the Witley shop burning down, but it’s now been rebuilt and looks fantastic. She is described as “exemplary man manager” and “a mature and very capable businesswoman with an eye for design”.
The other two finalists in this category were Sue Nithyanandan of Costcutter Epsom, Surrey and Shamly Sud of Race Track Pitstop, Premier, Strathclyde.
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