Rushi Patel bags Next Gen Award

(L-R): Shailesh Solanki, Rushi Patel, Shefali Solanki -Nair, Kalpesh Solanki, Matt Forde

Berkshire retailer Rushi Patel has been chosen for the Next Gen Award 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.

Rushi, of Londis Rushi Stores, has retailing flowing through his veins, having worked in his parents’ store since he was a child.

His parents came to the UK in 1988 and saved hard for three years to buy a shop in Reading. Soon there was a second site and in 2008 a third. After Covid restrictions were lifted Rushi oversaw a complete transformation of the store, more than doubling selling space, introducing an array of new categories which include a fresh and chilled section, beers, wines and spirits and a particularly impressive food to go offering.

Father and son team Rushi and Mahendra have worked tirelessly to create an offer that is perfectly tailored to local needs. The newly expanded and refurbished store now offers a wide range of in-demand meal solutions and food to go options as well as a strong mix of local products.

“Rushi has overseen a truly great store transformation refit with real understanding of what would work in local community,” the judges noted.

Winners of the Asian Trader Awards 2022

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 Awards 2022 held at the Park Plaza Westminster Hotel in London

Winners List:

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