London retailer Hitesh Patel was named Asian Trader of the Year at the 27th annual Asian Trader Awards, the top event in the grocery industry calendar.
Hitesh, who took the top award for the second time after previously winning in 2007, said it felt “great” to have won.
He attributes his victory to the innovations he has introduced to his store over the last year, including a Costa Coffee machine and a Subway.
The store gets fresh food from Spitalfields market three times a week.
“We have ethnic food and food from around the world,” said Hitesh. “We have a very diverse customer base.” With the Costa sales doing very well, Hitesh is planning to open a Costa Coffee café inside the store in the near future.
Hitesh and the other winning retailers were cheered by an audience of hundreds of senior figures from the grocery industry, cabinet minsters and celebrities in a glittering ceremony at London’s Westminster Park Plaza Hotel.
Chief guest Sajid Javid MP, secretary of state for business, innovation and skills and president of the Board of Trade paid tribute to the UK’s army of independent retailers, saying “retailing is not just a job, it is lifestyle”.
Kalpesh Solanki, Asian Trader’s group managing editor, praised the parents of the current generation of Asians for their hard work to provide a better life for their children.
Besides the retailer awards, the Asian Trader Product Awards recognised the best launches of the past year, with Ritz Crisp & Thin winning Best Snack Brand of the Year and Coke Life winning Best Soft Drinks Brand of the Year.
Booker chief executive Charles Wilson won the Editor’s Award for outstanding achievement in the independent retailing sector.
For the full list of awards, visit https://www.asiantrader.biz/industry-news