Double celebration for Spar Scotland retailer Saleem Sadiq

Award-winning store boss marks two milestones with symbol group

Multiple award-winning Scottish convenience retailer Saleem Sadiq at his Spar Renfrew store.
Multiple award-winning Scottish convenience retailer Saleem Sadiq at his Spar Renfrew store.

MULTIPLE award-winning Scottish convenience retailer Saleem Sadiq is celebrating two major anniversaries with the Spar symbol group.

The highly regarded shopkeeper is celebrating 40 years with the fascia – after his family opened their first Spar in Duntocher, West Dunbartonshire, in 1984.

And, towards the end of last month, Saleem and his family marked the 30th birthday of their Spar Renfrew store with a day of fun for customers and industry colleagues from Spar Scotland wholesaler CJ Lang & Son.

Saleem said afterwards: “We had a fantastic celebration, with lots of supplier involvement, including Walkers, Thompson’s Tea, Mrs Tilly’s and AG Barr, as well as the SGF Healthy Living Programme team joining us.

“We also had two massive celebration cakes from McGhee’s and Brownings the Bakers. So there was a lot happening during the day and a lot of fun was had.”

Colin McLean, chief exec of Spar Scotland, added: “Congratulations to Saleem, the Sadiq family and all the staff and customers of Spar Renfrew.

“It is a wonderful family history in convenience retailing and today a brilliant Spar business. Local retailing is at the heart of everything they do, and we wish Saleem continued success with his business – both in this generation and the next.”

Saleem came to Scotland from Pakistan as a child in the mid-1960s and has worked in the wider family business since he graduated from university.

With his team in Renfrew, he has turned the Spar store into one of the most awarded shops in Britain, one that has been frequently upgraded and is widely regarded as a landmark independent store for the fascia.

In 2016, Saleem won the ultimate Industry Achievement accolade at the Scottish Grocer Awards. He has also won awards across a wide variety of categories over the years, including retail technology, dairy, food to go, symbol store and licensed retailer.

A Spar man through and through, Saleem has served on the Scottish Spar Guild and the National Guild Board of Spar for many years.

He has also served as an executive committee member of the SGF. In his home community, he and his store continue to make many important contributions to local good causes.

Saleem added: “Convenience retailing is hard work but there are huge benefits in having the Spar fascia above the door.

“It is the strong partnership, the support, the sharing of good practice, the knowledge, the friends we have made and, above all, the feeling of belonging. The Spar family has made it easy for me to stay with Spar.

“We are a team of local people with local knowledge working in our store and that is a huge benefit. We have grown together as a community and, to me, that is what makes us stand out, that is what brings shopper loyalty and respect.

“It has been a journey over the decades, and it will hopefully not end with me – the next generation is already knocking on the door! Waseem, one of my sons, has already joined the family business and he hopes to carry the Spar name on within our family convenience business well into the next 40 years!”