A new EUROSPAR store has opened in Milford Haven to provide a unique shopping experience with a strong emphasis on local food and drink products.
Four new jobs have been created - taking the workforce to 36 - by the major investment in converting the old Spar, which also houses the townâ€™s post office, into modern store with 2,000 more product lines and hundreds of price reductions.
Owner Chris Ward, who runs the 3,000 square foot store with his wife, Nicola, says there is a strong possibility that even more jobs will be created if the store is well supported by the people of Milford Haven and surrounding area.
"We recognised that we needed to offer the town and its people a larger range, cheaper prices and more local products to satisfy the demands of the current trading environment in Milford Haven,â€ť he said. â€śWe also needed to be different to all the other stores. â€śWe are bigger than an average convenience store and smaller than a multiple, so itâ€™s a question of finding the correct middle ground that customers like. â€śTrade has definitely increased since we opened the EUROSPAR earlier this month and the customer feedback has been absolutely superb.â€ť
One of the biggest changes in the new EUROSPAR store is the range of local Welsh products, which Mr Ward is keen to expand in the coming weeks. He is encouraging food and drink producers in West Wales interested in supplying the store to get in touch. â€śWe are keen to provide a top quality service by tapping into the local supply chain,â€ť he explained. â€śThe advantage that EUROSPAR has is its ability to adapt to its local customers.â€ť
The store is already stocking eggs from Pennsylvania Farm, Haverfordwest, carbonated drinks from Alderwicks, Haverfordwest, Preseli Gold sausages from Fishguard butcher Peter Hughes, who supplies all the schools in Pembrokeshire, bread from Victoria Bakery, Laugharne, Pencader Bakery Welsh cakes and sponges and fairy cakes from from Bakeaway, Creselly.
To help establish a network of local suppliers around his store, Mr Ward is receiving support from the Channel Clusters project run by Menter a Busnes, as part of an initiative designed to help Welsh speciality food and drink businesses develop the UK market. The Channel Clusters project is part funded by the Welsh Government and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the Ireland Wales Programme (INTERREG 4A). He is using the successful EUROSPAR stores developed by award-winning entrepreneur Conrad Davies in Dolgellau and Blaenau Ffestiniog as a model for his store. â€śI have learnt a lot from Conrad about putting food miles on local products and having a Welsh point of difference and using point of sale to highlight this so that customers know how far food has travelled,â€ť he explained. â€śThe local economy is vital to us, so we need to support local food producers.â€ť
Mr and Mrs Ward have spent 21 years working for Spar stores in Pembrokeshire, including the last six in Milford Haven. Previously they worked for Mrs Wardâ€™s parents, Duncan and Sue McNally, who ran the Spar store in Neyland.
Chris and Nicola Ward (centre) with Fishguard butcher Peter Hughes and his wife Bev who invited customers to sample Preseli Gold sausages at Milford Haven EUROSPAR.
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