Dorset SPAR store owner Barbara Clements and her staff are celebrating after their popular community store in Preston, Weymouth won the Convenience Retailer of the Year award for the fourth year in a row at an awards ceremony staged by Appleby Westward, the regional distribution company for SPAR stores in the south west.

As well as the top prize, Barbara’s store picked up three other category awards at the Appleby Westward Retail Awards, held at the Mercure Grand Hotel in Bristol, for best produce retailer, best food-to-go retailer and best independent non-forecourt store.

“It’s fantastic that we’ve won the top award four years in a row,” said Barbara. “My staff deserve enormous credit for all their hard work and dedication to maintaining high standards throughout the store in making this happen.”

Barbara and her late husband Mike acquired the store 33 years ago, developing it into an important focal point of the local community and a thriving neighbourhood store.

Other award winners at the ceremony were Amanda James’s St. Agnes store which won best off licence retailer, as well as the best store manager award for Alwyn Hopkins. New SPAR retailers Tim and Leslie Francis won best community retailer for their customer support in the village of Enham Alamein in Hampshire, while Dash of Truro picked up two awards for best SPAR brand retailer and best in store display. Stephen Jinks and his son Oli of the Albany Road, Falmouth store received the award for best chilled food retailer.

Olly Andrews’ SPAR forecourt store at Maiden Newton won the best neighbourhood forecourt store award, and Totnes Cross was judged the best transient forecourt prize. Thornbury Motors was awarded the prize for the most improved store.

Company-owned Gillett’s SPAR stores also won a string of awards with Pinhoe, Exeter judged the best overall store, Teignmouth the most improved store and Bev Broom from the Christchurch store winning the best company-owned store manager prize.

Guests enjoyed a sparkling awards dinner with entertainment provided by comedy magician Chris Doc Strange, who hosted the event.