Neha Phoughat, who runs Shera’s Premier in Birmingham, has won the Off Licence of the Year Award 2022 at the 34th Asian Trader Awards, held at the Park Plaza Westminster Hotel in London on Wednesday.
Kevin Hollinrake, minister in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, was the chief guest at the event, which celebrated the most innovative and successful retailers from the UK’s independent grocery sector.
This store was a dream come true for Neha, and the store is something of a beer enthusiasts dream! After a complete refit, she has developed the store with the help of a leading symbol group and the results are stunning.
The store boasts a wide selection of wines and spirits catering to every price point and taste, all perfectly mechanised. But at the heart of the store is its spectacular beer cave, featuring an impressive selection of beers and lagers, all beautifully merchandised, creating great in-store theatre.
Neha and husband Vikas – who helps out while continuing to work in IT for the government – have nothing but praise for the Premier team in creating this cornucopia of delightful drinks, at the centre of which sits the spectacular beer cave that our judge described as one of the cleanest, brightest, best laid-out Beer Caves he has visited.
Revenues are already rocketing up. “The early trading results have been better than I ever imagined,” says Neha.
In all, 13 retailers were honoured in different categories at the event, with the top award going to Glasgow retailer Shamly Sud, who was crowned the Asian Trader of the Year 2022.
Four new product launches from the last year, voted for by the retailers, were also feted, and Parfetts Cash & Carry at Shepcote, Sheffield won the Wholesale Depot of the Year award, recognising wholesalers and suppliers who play an incredible role in the supply chain.
Ram Solanki Lifetime Achievement Award, instituted in the memory of Ramniklal Solanki CBE, founder of Asian Media Group, went to Steve Keil, Director of Tactical Trading at Booker Wholesale.
Hollinrake, who was appointed minister last month, said he looks forward to developing a closer association with the sector.
“Small businesses are the very foundation of a dynamic, productive economy that creates employment, and brings huge benefits for the consumer. I’m determined to make it easier to start and grow business in this country by improving access to business finance, providing better advice and support and offering incentives to invest and grow.
“I am relishing working with independent retailers, promoting your needs across the government. I promise you, now we are on your side.”
Asian Trader Ram Solanki Lifetime Achievement Award: Steve Keil, Director of Tactical Trading at Booker Wholesale
Asian Trader Awards
Asian Trader of the Year: Shamly Sud, Racetrack Pitstop Premier, Strathclyde
Responsible Retailer of the Year Award supported by JTI: Mayaur (Dee) Sedani, One Stop, Stoke on Trent
Wholesale depot of the Year Award supported by JTI: Parfetts Cash & Carry, Stockport
Convenience Chain of the Year Award supported by Dr Beckmann: Jayaseelan Thambirajah, MSP Noble Group, Cambridgeshire
Vape Convenience Retailer of the Year supported by BAT: Girish Jeeva Premier Barmulloch Glasgow
Bakery Retailer of the Year Award supported by Warburtons: Michael Atherden & Paula Lafferty, Nisa, Bury
Next Gen Award: Rushi Patel, Londis Rushi Stores, Berkshire
Independent Retailer of the Year supported by Booker: Kris Naveretam, Londis Burbage, Wiltshire
Food to Go Retailer of the Year Award: Faz Latif One Stop Premier, Methil Fife
Spirit of the Community Award supported by Mondelez: Amrit Singh, Nisa Local, Walsall
Symbol Convenience Retailer of the Year Award supported by Bestway: Nithy & Sue Nityanandan, Costcutter, Epsom, Surrey
Off Licence of the Year Awards supported by Molson Coors (Cobra): Neha Phoughat, Shera’s Premier, Birmingham
Impulse Retailer of the Year Award: Peter Juty, Costcutter Culverstone, Kent
Local Hero Award supported by Kurkure: Jenny Donaghy, Spar, Llandrinio, Powys
Product and Manufacturer Awards
Convenience Snacks Brand of the Year supported by Sunmark Ltd: Kurkure, PepsiCo
Convenience Soft Drinks Bottled Water and Juices Brand of the Year supported by Sunmark Ltd: Relentless Zero Sugar, CCEP
Convenience Confectionery Brand of the Year supported by Sunmark Ltd: Cadbury Caramilk Buttons, Mondelez
Convenience Vape and Next Generation Product Brand of the Year: Nordic Spirit Spearmint, JTI