Husband and wife grocery team scoops service awards

A shopkeeper and his wife have been honoured with two awards for the top service they provide in the community.

Dennis Williams, 55, and his wife, Linda, 45, have owned Broadway Convenience Store in Oxgangs Broadway,for 28 years since they took over from Mr Williams' parents.

They were awarded top prizes at the Scottish Local Retailer Awards, including a community award and an award for social responsibility. The ceremony was held last Thursday at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Glasgow.

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Mr Williams credited the hard work of his wife and eight staff for the wins, which came after the team scooped Scottish Local Retailer of the Year in 2010.

The couple, who live in Fairmilehead, said they were "delighted" to be recognised for the second year in a row.

The duo, who have a 12-year-old daughter, Sophie, explained that their work during the winter months had lead to their success.

Mr Williams said: "I think one of the things we did that was very important was in December. We hired extra lads during the bitter months to give us a hand. In Oxgangs we're above the snow level and for three weeks things were pretty tough, so we hired six lads to help get food to people, clear paths and go to the cash and carry with us. There were no wholesale deliveries for days, so we'd pile the lads into the back of the van and do what we could for the community. We managed to get through the worst of it by digging people out of their homes and digging the shop out."

He added: "We've been here for decades, we're responsible retailers and we know generations of families around here. We realise how to look after them and know what they're after."

The couple credit their second award, for social responsibility, to their stringent policy on alcohol as the shop operates an "over 25" policy.

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They took over the shop on March 21, 1983, after Mr Williams's late father, Kenneth, and 90-year-old mother, Barbara retired. He added that his mother was still a regular and knows all the regular customers.

The store holds many happy memories for Mr Williams as he met his wife when she was working as a saleswoman for Walkers crisps.

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He said: "She came into the shops to try to sell me crisps, and the rest is history. I like to say she got a good bargain as she got me."

Talking of Oxgangs, he said: "It has a bit of a bad reputation, but we're very happy here and the people who shop at our store are top people. Everywhere has good and bad, but we've had a good experience. My team work hard and we all enjoy it."

Mr Williams is also a prominent community activist. He sponsors local football team, Oxgangs AC, is on the board at Pentland Community Centre and was part of a campaign to save the local post office.