Being compared to a popular television sitcom is a good indication of the fondness with which SUPERSPAR Village Square in St Francis Bay is viewed by its clientele.
After being named the SPAR Eastern Cape store of the year in its category in 2019, one of its loyal customers, Jo Brown, said the outlet was like the 1980s TV show Cheers, set in a bar “where everyone knows your name”.
“Our Village SUPERSPAR is the equivalent of that,” she says. “It’s a supermarket where everyone knows your name.
“Everyone greets you with a smile, you can always find what you need and if you can’t they will always make a plan.
“Yes, shopping at our SPAR is like popping in to see a friend and coming home with all your shopping done.”
It is the first time the store has won the award and owner Richard Moolman endorsed Brown’s comments about their link with the local townsfolk.
“We live in a very small community and our involvement with the people in the area is vital,” he says.
“Our greatest asset in our store is our staff. Some of them have been with us since we opened 12 years ago and we spend a lot of time on staff training and mentorship.”
He adds that the managers play a crucial role in the store’s day-to-day operations.
“We believe in giving them the responsibility and authority to manage their own departments. We also acknowledge our staff’s achievements and input.”
Moolman says the recognition received for the time and effort they have put in to make it a preferred St Francis Bay retail outlet is gratifying.
“It is always humbling to be rewarded in this way and my family and I are very grateful.
“But the biggest benefit from this award is the recognition our staff received for running an excellent show.
“Winning this award means that we are not unnoticed, even in a small community. It motivates us to do even better.”
He says their commitment to the community goes beyond just ensuring that a visit to the store is an experience which satisfies the customers’ needs.
“Service doesn’t stop when a customer leaves the store. We also want to be available to help out in a crisis, to act as a sponsor where possible, and to help create events that bring the community together.
“Being a coastal town we sponsor a yearly fundraiser for the NSRI [National Sea Rescue Institute] and we are involved in several sport events in town.
“We support local charities and schools and, basically, if any section of our community is in need we will assist.
“We believe in SPAR and are positive and excited about our future in the retail business.”