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    SPAR Newtownstewart celebrates 45 years serving local community

    Hamilton’s SPAR Newtownstewart is this year celebrating 45 successful years of serving the local community.

    A popular local store near Omagh, Northern Ireland is marking a significant milestone this year as it celebrates 45 years of dedicated service to the local community.

    Since its opening in 1979, Hamilton’s SPAR Newtownstewart has become a cornerstone of the area, providing essential goods and services under the stewardship of Charlie and Ruth Hamilton.

    When the store opened with just four employees, it was the first SPAR store in Northern Ireland to introduce such innovations as a hot food counter, automatic doors and an open fronted chilled drinks fridge – now all standard fixtures in today’s modern SPAR outlets.

    Charlie and Ruth have invested in their business extensively over the years to expand their offering for their shoppers, and are preparing to bring even more to the store with plans to rebuild the Newtownstewart store in the next few years.

    “The rebuild will be a substantial investment for us and will provide a modern supermarket for our community which has supported us, our family and our local suppliers for the past 45 years,” Charlie said.

    “We’re looking forward to extending our offering and bringing even more top quality products and services to our shoppers.”

    To commemorate their anniversary, the Hamilton family has initiated a community-focused project, donating sunflower seeds, compost, and pots to several local P1 and P2 classes to encourage the children to spend some time outdoors, being active in the garden and learning about pollination.

    Schools which received donations included Ardstraw Jubilee Primary School, Newtownstewart Model Primary School, St. Patricks Primary School Newtownstewart, St. Patricks Primary School Gortin and Gortin Primary School.

    The Hamiltons have always demonstrated a strong commitment to community engagement, supporting local groups, sports teams, schools, and charities. Their annual tea parties for Marie Curie have raised £2,500 over the past five years, exemplifying their dedication to giving back.

    “The community is at the heart of everything we do and we wanted to mark our anniversary by doing something for the benefit of our local schools,” Charlie said.

    “I want to thank Ruth, our family and all our store staff at SPAR Newtownstewart for their hard work and dedication to the store. We also want to thank our shoppers, we have loved seeing friendly faces every day for the past 45 years and will continue to serve the community in the best way we can for years to come.”

    The store is one of three SPAR stores owned and operated by Charlie and Ruth throughout Co. Tyrone. After a successful 16 years operating SPAR Newtownstewart, they opened SPAR Castlederg, which was extended in 2021 to become the largest SPAR store in the UK, and in 1998, the family opened the doors to their Tamlaght Road SPAR, which was knocked down and rebuilt in 2019.

    Well known and respected in the community, the couple’s children are continuing their legacy. Their son David has branched out with two of his own SPAR stores and a ViVO store in Fermanagh, while daughter Louise owns Joe’s Chippy in Sion Mills and daughter Alison joined the family business in 2018 and plays a leading role in SPAR Newtownstewart.

    With six grandchildren, the Hamiltons envision their business thriving for generations to come.

    Commenting, Paddy Doody, sales and marketing director, Henderson Group, said: “We have a fantastic relationship with Charlie and Ruth, who are one of our longest serving retailers under the SPAR brand. They have been some of the first to bring tech innovations that are standard practice now to the industry, and have continued to invest and grow over the years, with their shoppers at the heart of everything they do.

    “We want to congratulate the Hamiltons’ on a fantastic 45 years of SPAR Newtownstewart and wish them every success for the future of a wonderful store.”

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