Bladwin Cup Winner SRS 2022 Tristan and Claire King

Tristan and Claire King have been awarded the best independent Spar retailers across the Blakemore Trade Partners network in recognition of their commitment to developing their business, King Family Stores.

The couple picked up the Baldwin Cup at Blakemore Trade Partners’ Spar Retail Show (SRS) awards ceremony on 16th June, which recognises outstanding retailers and suppliers.

The trophy is awarded to one retailer every year and celebrates the very best stores across Spar UK’s Meridian & Welsh Guild region.

King Family Stores dates back to 1997, when the business was founded by Tristan and his parents. Tristan and his wife, Claire, took sole ownership in 2016 and today have six Spar stores in Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, and South Yorkshire.

They have consistently invested in their estate to grow sales and profitability.

With support from the team at Blakemore Trade Partners, they have developed their own food-to-go brand, Kings Kitchen, which has given their stores a real point of difference. Five of their sites operate the brand to varying degrees: from a simple chilled offer to a full hot menu more akin to a traditional takeaway. 

Tristan and Claire’s latest development was completed at their Sheffield Road store in Chesterfield last month. They introduced the Kings Kitchen brand to give their customers a greater choice of great value, locally produced food.

Blakemore Trade Partners provided support by preparing a business plan, advancing business overriders, offering range, and pricing advice, fitting out the store and assisting with marketing. 

The refit was only completed a few weeks ago, but customer reaction has been more than positive and sales better than forecast.

In addition, the entire team across all six of Kings Stores picked up the Best Store Team award for demonstrating flexibility throughout the pandemic, including: job sharing and stepping into management positions to cover for colleagues. They also worked collectively to support the takeover of a new store and the complete refit and redevelopment of another. 

Blakemore Trade Partners commercial director Louis Drake said: “Since joining Spar, Tristan and Claire have demonstrated outstanding commitment to developing their business. Not wanting to rest on their laurels, they are constantly looking for opportunities to grow.

“The business is full of innovation, something that is most evident in the development of their Kings Kitchen food-to-go concept, which has been developed to create a real point of difference and drive sales and profitability.

“The couple regularly move outside their comfort zone and have formed a formidable business partnership. Congratulations on this very deserved win.”

The following retailers also picked up awards:

  • Best Business Initiative: Brockhill Convenience Store
  • Raj Aggarwal Community Engagement Award: Croyland Motors, Rushden

        Highly Commended: The Golden Fleece, Tremadog

  • Big Investment Award: Lewis of Llandrinio