Store owners win six awards inside a week for service

A PRIZE-WINNING pair of shop owners in the Capital have taken delivery of a fresh batch of glittering industry awards by scooping an incredible six in four days.

Husband and wife team Dennis and Linda Williams, owners of Broadway Convenience Store in Oxgangs, have enjoyed such success that they have lost count of how many awards they’ve now amassed.

Mrs Williams, 47, said: “I’ve no idea how many we have won really, we’ve never kept count. I’d say that we’ve won 30 in the last three years alone. We definitely punch above our weight.”

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The couple have now even been forced to turn down invitations to prestigious awards ceremonies due to already being fully booked.

They were recently awarded the Best Customer Service gong at the Convenience Retail Awards 2012 in London, but were unable to attend due to their prior commitments at the Scottish Grocer Awards where they became the first couple to receive the Award for Industrial Achievement.

Earlier in the evening, the prize-winning pair scooped both the Social Responsibility and Community Champions gongs too.

Completing their recent haul is the Safer Retailer Award from the Scottish Business Crime Centre and a Gold Award for Excellence in Community Retailing from the Federation of Wholesale Distributors.

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In an attempt to sum up the secret of their success, Mrs Williams said: “You have to support your local community because these are the people who live near your shop and use it on a daily basis. As we also live nearby, we have a genuine insight into what the area’s problems are and the many challenges our customers face every single day.”

Mr Williams, 56, said: “We have a great team that help us run Broadway Convenience Store and we can’t thank them enough for their support. We also have a good working relationship with our suppliers and have forged good relationships with the police and council.”

The couple have owned Broadway Convenience Store for 29 years after taking over from Mr Williams’ parents.

The shop holds many happy memories for the pair as it was where they first met when Linda was working as a saleswoman for Walkers crisps.

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She said: “I used to come in to the shop selling crisps. One day I left a nearby cash and carry and found a note from Dennis on the windscreen asking me out. He was too chicken to do it to my face.”

Patrick Duffy, managing editor of Scottish Grocer & Convenience Retailer magazine, said: “We wanted someone who summed up the very best of the local shop. We considered a number of excellent candidates but Linda and Dennis do it all.

“They run a great store that is a commercial success and they play a full part in industry organisations, but more than anything else they make a huge contribution to their local community.

“They received a standing ovation – that showed they had the support and respect of their peers and of the industry.”