Retail Data Partnership visited Jules’ convenience in Telford (which uses RDP’s ShopMate EpoS system) to meet and congratulate the celebrated Jules Kaur who has recently been awarded the first Raj Aggarwal Award for Outstanding Community Service. We received a warm welcome from Jules and husband Joey and observed a typical morning in the store as we chatted.
Jules won the award because of the help she gave to a neighbouring store through the pandemic, delivering groceries and supporting the family who closed for several weeks to shield their vulnerable child. When the neighbouring store reopened, Jules stepped in, helping to prepare for reopening. She says “I feel overwhelmed to have been selected, as all the stores have obviously put in so much hard work through pretty difficult times.”
She also helped her community during lockdown, assisted by Booker, delivering hot cross buns in April, ice cream and teacakes in May, and her own birthday cake with a hot drink in June to around 70 local elderly residents.
Showing her enthusiasm to help others, during the pandemic in 2020, Jules raised more than £5,000 in support of three different charities. In aid of Children with Cancer, she raised £1,050, running the Tatton Park 10k, and over Christmas, she organised a charitable Santa visit for the children. For the Georgia Williams Trust she raised more than £2,500, walking up The Wrekin, a 407 metre hill in East Shropshire, for 25 consecutive days. For the Severn Hospice Jules undertook 7forSevern, cycling 7 miles for 7 days and raising £1,095.
The store in Telford is run by husband and wife team Joey and Jules. The couple’s commitment to fundraising was clear from the moment we arrived. The recently awarded trophy sits proudly inside the front door and there are three separate displays for Jules’ running and charity fun run medals. Joey has worked in the same store for 39 years and Jules for 32. Joey’s father re-mortgaged his house to pay the deposit. The rest of the team consists of the couple’s three grown up children who help in the store and run the social media. They consider this to be one of their strengths – the whole family is approachable and friendly and of course, dedicated to the business.
The 1500sq ft store is in a residential area on a busy commuter road. Outside the store a parking area for around 10 cars makes it easy for commuters to drop in. The store is in a parade alongside a hairdresser and two takeaways. Nearby is a local school and a 6th form college whose students pop by for snacks and soft drinks. The local football ground ensures that the store is also busy at weekends. The couple feel they have a very good relationship with their local residents, in part because they have been there for more than thirty years and in part because they’re so heavily involved in the community.
Jules visits her wholesaler in person most mornings, she likes to stay connected with the news from other retailers and offers help and advice. She is president for the West Midlands district of the federation of independent retailers and a member of the Ladies ACS forum. Jules convenience is powered by ShopMate and Jules says that it’s helpful that if there’s something they don’t understand, the ShopMate team are willing to help out and offer advice and training.
Still bursting with energy, this year Jules is continuing to support charities, and has so far raised £1,305 as part of a Tough Mudder team for Magic Breakfast, has held a Macmillan coffee morning, climbed Snowdon to fundraise for Zero Hunger with Langar, hosted an Age UK Easter Raffle, and raised a fantastic £1,200 in aid of Sports for Noah who aim to help local boy Noah who needed a new motorised wheelchair. And that isn’t all, she also intends to back a local convenience store with a Santa visit this Christmas! The team are also hoping to open a community café nearby.
Jules and Joey believe that the fundraising helps them stay connected to their customers who they say offer them loads of support. It is clear they support their local residents’ fundraising efforts too – while we were speaking, Joey offered sponsorship to a local lady who asked at the counter. This mutual respect has earned them a place in the hearts of all their customers which Jules believes impacts the business in so many positive ways.