‘Winning top accolade was massive boost for our staff’

STAFF working for the overall winner of Bedfordshire’s premier business excellence awards received a massive fillip when the joint founders carried off the trophy.

Kishor and Pat Patel won praise from the awards judges for the way they have built up their Nisa community grocery shops in Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire over 25 years.

MD Kishor Patel said: “Winning the overall award for excellence was great for pride and motivating staff.

“It also reassures people who work in the stores that they are working for a great business and reinforces credibility among our customers that we have been independently judged as being the best.”

Mr Patel said he would encourage other businesses to enter this year’s awards. He is also willing to pass on his experience and knowlege of entering to people who contact him through the website www.nisalocal.com

The Patel brothers have built up and run Houghton Trading, from their store in Hillborough Crescent, Houghton Regis.

They now have stores in Neptune Square, Houghton Regis, Dunstable Road, Toddington, Hemel Hempstead, Borehamwood and Stevenage. They also own an indian restaurant in Stevenage. The company turns over about £8 million every year and that in the teeth of competition from all the main supermarkets.

Mr Patel said winning the award was also hugely different from winning internal awards within the grocery trade.

He said: “We were up against people from different sectors, not just the grocery business.

“To win in those circumstances gives an added credibility and the publicity helps to raise our profile.”

The Patels have built up their business by being proactive in their local communities. Their shops sponsor children’s football team Toddington Rovers and have been regular backers of the carnival in Houghton Regis.

This year, they have agreed a joint sponsorship of the Pride in Luton awards with Costa Coffee.

> To enter the Bedfordshire and Luton Rising Stars Business Excellence Awards, or for more information on the categories, visit www2.lutontoday.co.uk/risingstars2011/

> To find out the benefits of sponsoring a category, contact Rebecca McCreath, group events and exhibitions manager at Premier Newspapers by phoning 01908 651263 or emailing her at [email protected]

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