Falkirk district shop owners celebrate Asian Trader Awards success

The owners of two Falkirk district stores were crowned as winners at the Asian Trader Awards 2020.

By Jonathon Reilly
Wednesday, 17th February 2021, 7:00 am

Anand Cheema, who runs SPAR in Maggie Wood’s Loan, Falkirk, was named Impulse Retailer of the Year, while husband and wife duo Jawad and Asiyah Javed, of Day-Today in Stenhousemuir, won the Spirit of the Community title.

The shopkeepers were shocked and elated to see off UK-wide competition to come out on top in their respective categories during the virtual ceremony, held last week.

For Mr Cheema, 24, his gong represents the first of what he hopes will be a lengthy list of career accolades.

Anand Cheema, owner of SPAR in Maggie Wood's Loan, Falkirk, was named Impulse Retailer of the Year Award at the Asian Trader Awards thanks, in part, to the rare whiskies the store offers. Picture: Michael Gillen.

The reputation his store his built as a hot-spot for whisky connoisseurs – the shop is one of few to sell a rare £1600 malt made in Falkirk’s Rosebank Distillery – grasped judges’ attention.

He said: “It means a lot.

“I didn’t expect it at all. We only opened the store in August. I didn’t even expect to be shortlisted for an award, but it so happened I was up for three!

Jawad and Asiyah Javed, owners of Day-Today in Stenhousemuir, won the Spirit of the Community Award at the Asian Trader Awards. Picture: Michael Gillen.

“I was up for the Independent Retailer of the Year and Next Generation Retailer of the Year as well.

“I’d like to thank SPAR and my family for their continued support, and the customers because the shop wouldn’t be what it is without them.

“A lot of the judging was based on different styles of selling and unique selling points. We have a vast array of machines in-store and new products we sell, the main highlight being the £2500 Ladyburn and the £3400 Balvenie whiskies.

“This is the first award I’ve won so hopefully there are more to come.

“My main focus is just to keep doing what I’m doing and progressing forward to continue serving the local area to the best of my abilities.”

Mr and Mrs Javed’s award comes hot on the heels of their Stenhousemuir business winning a Good Morning Britain’s Community Award.

The Asian Trader Awards judging panel noted the couple have become the “tent-pole of their community” due to the support they’ve given to those in need throughout the pandemic.

Since March, the couple have handed out hundreds of free weekly food parcels to vulnerable families.

The Javeds, who took over the Alloa Road shop four years ago, have also given away personal protective equipment to the elderly and distributed meals to schoolchildren during lockdown.

Reflecting on the award win, Mrs Javed said: “There are no words to describe it.

“The Spirit of the Community Award is a big thing. I’ve always heard about the Asian Trader Awards but I never thought I would win!

“It’s extra special because it’s a community award. We’ll always be there for the community.

“We’re trying to do the best we can for the community. Before, we’d only won one award for our confectionery because we’ve got confectionery from all different countries.

“Not even in my dreams did I think we would win.”

Admitting she feels at home in Falkirk district, Mrs Javed said: “Everybody knows us.

“If there’s anybody struggling and they don’t want anybody to know, they can private message us and we’ll help them.”

Click here to visit the shop’s Facebook page.

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