Top award for Ballymena store as it marks five decades in business

Top award for Ballymena store as it marks five decades in business
Hannah Donnelly from sponsor Drinks Inc, Kevin Killough and Peter McCool.

Taking home one of the top awards at the 2022 Neighbourhood Retailer Awards has capped a fantastic year for one Northern Ireland business.

McCool’s Centra in Ballymena was named Neighbourhood Store of the Year (Category 3) at this year’s ceremony, after it was described by judges as being a “standout store”.

It comes as the company marks its 50th year in business serving its local community.

“Winning this most sought-after award has been wonderful. The team in McCool’s Ballymena, led by manager Kevin Killough, are absolutely thrilled that all their hard work has been recognised,” said store owner, Peter McCool.

“Winning this award in 2022 is particularly pleasing as it is the 50th anniversary of the McCool family serving our local community in Ballymena. We set out all those years ago selling fuel, fan belts and car accessories and we have evolved to become top quality food producers with our own McCool branded products, selling in Ballymena, as well as our sister stores in Kells and Ballymoney,” he added.

Independently judged by Spotcheck, the awards are judged to exacting standards over a three-month period.

Now in their 26th year, the Neighbourhood Retailer Awards reward excellence, recognise achievement, raise industry standards and reward entrepreneurial spirit.

Judges praised the staff for their “hard work” in making sure the customer had the best experience in the store.

“Excellent presentation and engaging staff made this a standout store,” they said.

“The layout was easy to navigate, and shelves were full. The staff were enthusiastic and working hard to provide a great customer experience,” they added.

“We have a strong vision of where we want to take the business and we have been greatly supported by our wholesaler Musgrave in delivering this. Here’s to the next 50 years,” added Peter.