The Spar store in Walthamstow Village has been named as the best convenience store in the country by the judges of the 2011 Convenience Retail Awards.

Known as The Village Stores and trading under the Spar fascia, the shop at 24-26 Orford Road, Walthamstow, was named as Convenience Retailer of the Year at the prestigious Convenience Retail Awards, organised by Convenience Store and The Grocer. Earlier in the evening the store had been named as the Best Independent Convenience Store.

The Village Stores impressed the judging panel with its exciting range, high retail standards, and genuine points of difference – including an in-store pizzeria – that help it really stand out in a retail sector increasingly dominated by the same brand names and similar in-store environment.

The four main partners in the business received the accolade at the awards presentation at the Grand Connaught Rooms in London last night (Thursday March 31).

A delighted James Brundle said: “Winning was a really big wonderful shock. A lot of hard work goes into this business and a win like this really lifts you and makes it all feel so worthwhile.”

James' brother and business partner Dan O'Connor added: “Winning this award gives us a huge amount of pride, it's a great boost.”

Convenience Store editor David Rees said: “The Village Store is the ultimate example of a store trading in harmony with its local community by offering major brands alongside delicious niche products and home-made fresh breads and high quality pizzas prepared to order.

“What is even more impressive is that the shop is able to offer so much variety within a limited space. It really is a convenience store with a difference and is completely deserving of this major national accolade.”

Other winners on the night included Warner's Budgens Bidford-on-Avon, which was named as Best Large Store, Singh's Premier, Herries Road, Sheffield (Best Small Store) and Spar Pike Hill, Burnley (Best Multiple Store)

See here for a full list of winners.