SUPERSTATION 2015: SUPERHEROES UNMASKED AT GALA AWARDS DINNER

SuperStation, Certas Energy’s award winning forecourt standards competition, culminated with its Gala Awards Dinner at Heythrop Park, Oxfordshire on 8 October 2015.

The competition, now in its fourth year and open to 1,200 independent retailers across Britain, encourages and celebrates forecourt retailing values nationwide in areas such as appearance, product offering, customer service and business strategy. Certas Energy is one of the largest distributors of fuel and lubricants in Britain and the awards represent a major fixture on the industry calendar.

The winners of the seven categories were;

Best Pace-branded Site, sponsored by Central Maintenance Solutions
Townhead Filling Station, Lockerbie, Dumfriesshire

Until January 2015, Townhead Filling station lay closed and unloved for over five years. To its rescue came Ryan Brown, a local businessman, who took grew tired of driving past the site and watching it deteriorate. Seeing its potential, he made the decision to buy the site and reopen it to the public. Once the acquisition was complete, Ryan oversaw its renovation, with investment in new air machine and vacuum, with more improvements underway. The site is already proving popular with passing motorists while building a loyal customer base from the local community already.

Lorraine Batey, Site Manager, commented, “Thank you to Certas Energy, the award means a great deal; all the hard work has paid off. Our customers were excited and congratulated me on making the finals; they’ll be delighted when they find out that we’ve won!”

Best Shop, sponsored by Fairbanks
Roundabout Service Station, Tredegar, Gwent

Owned by David Taylor Garages Group, Roundabout Service Station is a prime example of a well-run site, with a management team always on the lookout for areas to improve. In 2014 a new ‘food bar’ for the preparation of fresh hot and cold food was introduced to offer customers an extended food range. This facility has proven to be hugely popular; all food is made on-site with a fresh roast available every day for baguette’s and rolls, as well as ‘Specials’ each day (such as lasagnes, hotpots and casseroles). Another success story is the Sunday lunch offer, which has surpassed all expectations by selling more than 200 meals each week.

Janet Garbett, Head Chef at Roundabout Service Station, who collected the award, commented, “I’m very pleased, although I didn’t think we had a chance. It’s a great team effort, we all work hard to meet the needs of our customers and create new initiatives. Our roasts are now, by word of mouth alone, extremely popular; we served the most ever last Sunday, some 240 meals during the day.”

Most Improved Site, sponsored by HTEC
Research Garage, Hinckley

Ian Rawson-Mackenzie became proprietor of Research Garage in 2013 and began a series of improvements, including a rebrand to Gulf in 2014, which has seen the site flourish. Over the past 12 months the Garage has changed beyond all recognition, as a result of its fresh new approach to convenience retailing, investment in people and retail expertise and sheer hard work. The site is now a true success story with a loyal customer base that appreciates the new approach from management and the various money-saving promotions available.

Julie Lally, Forecourt Manageress, commented “It’s fantastic to get our hard work and efforts rewarded in this way. The success at Research is thanks to our staff and the high standards they set in all we do, which has resulted in a hugely successful year in terms of site improvements, positive feedback from loyal and happy customers, and now this Award under our belt.”

Best Retail Initiative, sponsored by Tokheim
Penny Petroleum, Northumberland

David Penny, owner of Penny Petroleum, which won ‘Best Retail Initiative’ for its Social Penny campaign, said: “We are delighted that Certas Energy has recognised our efforts and the pride and passion we put into our business. Social Penny is a new initiative being driven by a young and talented team at Penny Petroleum for the benefit of our people and our customers. SuperStation is an excellent initiative to showcase the very best of our industry and the creativity, innovation and sheer hard work required to be successful in a difficult market place.”

Best Gulf-branded Site, sponsored by Suresite Ltd
Strand Garage, Barnoldswick, Lancashire

After a significant redevelopment on site in December 2011, and a rebrand to Gulf in 2013, Strand Garage is now an impressive, modern site with everything a customer could want. The state of the art Spar shop is superbly presented, with staff delivering the highest standards of service. All this has produced a highly popular facility for the local community.

Joanne Gillespie, Manager and Robert Aggo Area Manager, Strand Garage, commented “Having seen the quality of the finalists we were amazed to win. We work very hard to maintain the highest standards in everything we do and every one at Strand is proud of the site. It is our first award and we are grateful to Certas Energy for this recognition.”

Best Forecourt Assistant North, sponsored by Vianet
Dorothy Ryan, Ivy Garage, Burton-on-Trent

Dorothy Ryan, who is known to friends as ‘Dot’, became a member of staff at Ivy Garage in August 1980 and, 35 years later, she continues to inspire others with her cheery smile and good heart. She is always there to listen and advise and has become a friend to many in the community, known for her banter and generosity. Put simply, Ivy Garage is the place to be when Dot is in the house!

Dorothy’s good deeds are constant and numerous.. She brings the best out of customers and staff by working hard and leading by example. Remarkably, she has also managed to raise a family of 7 children.

Dorothy commented, “It’s fantastic, although completely unexpected. I enjoy my work and it does seem a little strange to be rewarded for just doing my job!”

Best Forecourt Assistant South, sponsored by Key Points
Kim Pryor, Astwood Bank Service Station, Redditch

Kim Pryor has been employed by MPK Garages at their Astwood Bank Service Station in Redditch for the past five years, during which time she has proven to be a true asset to the site. Kim goes out of her way to help people, including assisting some loyal customers with their shopping which she delivers to their door (during her own time). Kim is a favourite with customers, always smiling and is highly regarded in the local area.

Kim commented, “It’s overwhelming and I’m very humbled by the award. It’s thanks to the great team I work with, all of whom are good friends as well as colleagues.”

Reflecting on all the winners, Ramsay MacDonald, Certas Energy Retail Director, commented: “This year the judging has been tougher than ever and it has been really heart-warming to hear fantastic stories of the passion and commitment to service by forecourt operators and their staff across the country.

“The competition culminates in a Gala Dinner, which is a chance to celebrate success and encourage and inspire everyone to push for better standards. With SuperStation, Certas Energy is also driving forward the agenda for the independent forecourt operator so collectively we grow the business opportunity.”

The Gala Awards Dinner was once again sponsored by ID Maintenance, Certas Energy’s signage partner, implementing and maintaining the Gulf Brand. The company manufactures and installs totem price signs, canopy signage and associated branding.

For all the details, visit superstationcompetition.co.uk.

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