Tarves branch: How we got to the finals

Tarves branch: How we got to the finals

Spar Tarves, small but mighty

We spoke with Wendy Anderson, postmaster for Tarves Post Office, to find out what made them stand out to the judges.

Finalist – Post Office Retailer of the Year category

Spar Tarves is a local Post Office in Ellon, Aberdeenshire. They are the only convenience shop in Tarves, although the village does also have a café, a pub and a hairdresser. On their retail side they sell local produce like raspberries and other seasonal fruit and veg, handmade biscuits and cakes, as well as homemade food to go and meal deals.

Small businesses and surrounding communities rely on them for banking services, including farms, café and garages. Locals use the Post Office and shop daily and in the summer there is passing trade from tourists and the nearby heritage centre.  A local artist even posts her paintings with them.

Lovely atmosphere

Wendy said, “We are a small community here, lots of the staff are local and our customers know us really well, including local businesses - and we know them too. We look out for our more vulnerable neighbours, including the elderly and people with dementia and know how to help them.”

The judges said there was a lovely atmosphere in the branch. Everyone who came in was greeted by name and stayed for a chat. They do lots for the local community, such as school events, supporting the local playgroup, donating 5p of carrier bags charges towards Christmas lights and fireworks.

Up for two awards

Wendy added, “Me and my husband are so glad to be going to the awards ceremony. It’s nice for the whole team, being nominated and then being finalists for Post Office Retailer of the Year. Running the shop and Post Office is a lot of hard work all year. So, getting to the final is a really good feeling for us all.

I’ve also been nominated by the judges as Employee of the Year. I’m a bit embarrassed by it to be honest, but it’s very nice all the same!”

Wendy’s three tips

  1. Customer service matters, so have a friendly, approachable manner.
  2. Product knowledge combined with customer service means you can give customers what they need. And if you don’t know how to do a transaction or answer a question, look it up.
  3. About entering for awards, you might not think you’re in with a chance, but give it a go. It’s a great boost for your whole team and we’re glad we did it.

The finalists of the Scottish Grocer Awards have been invited to an awards ceremony and dinner on Thursday 7 March at the Hilton in Glasgow. Best of luck!