Running a local convenience store is more than just a job for the Khan family. At the heart of the local community, the family’s work with other local businesses and dedication to supporting their customers has been recognised with this year’s Heart of the Community Award.
We chatted with Sagheer Khan to find out more about his family business, their award and their enthusiasm for their local community.
Could you tell us more about your business?
Our business is H&S Convenience store and we’re based in Hadrian Park in Wallsend. We’re a family run business and employ six people.
We started trading back in March 2006 and soon realised we were going to face some tricky times. Three months later the mortgage crisis happened, then a year on from that the global financial crisis hit too. It was tough to get established in such challenging times – in fact, I’m still not sure we’re fully established now!
But this is the industry I know, having worked in this area ever since arriving in the UK.
How did you become nominated for the Heart of the Community award?
As a central part of the community, we were encouraged by our customers and community as a whole to put ourselves forward for the award.
Our central belief is that we’re part of the community here in Hadrian Park and as a business we’ve always tried to set ourselves apart from other shops and businesses by offering outstanding service. We support other local businesses by stocking locally sourced good such as ale, sausages and baked goods too.
Since lockdown started, we’ve tried to make sure we’re supporting everyone in our community. We started doing deliveries for those who couldn’t get out to do their shopping and we always try to check on their wellbeing while we’re there too. Even if they need something that we don’t stock, we’ll head out to other shops to gather everything they need so they can stay at home and get well.
We’ve also provided a number of food parcels for families who have struggled financially as a result of the pandemic, ensuring they could feed themselves and their children even if they couldn’t afford to shop.
One of the most exciting and helpful parts of being nominated for the award has been the promotional video that North Tyneside Business Forum made about our business as a result of being nominated. Our son Hassan appeared in the video and it really highlighted our values as a business and our love of our local community.
What does winning the award mean for you and your business?
We’re absolutely delighted that the hard work we put into our business and our community has been recognised by this award and by the North Tyneside Business Forum. We’re very proud.
The award ceremony itself was a little different this year as we couldn’t all gather together in person as we normally would. The ceremony was streamed live on YouTube so we encouraged all our customers to tune in and watch it with us and it all seemed to flow very smoothly and was very professional. You can watch back the ceremony here https://youtu.be/Wka6FGDmbtI
What advice would you give other business or people thinking of setting up a business in north Tyneside?
I’d tell people to remember that business is not just counting pennies. It’s about working alongside the community and sharing happiness with the locals in your area. We like to think we help and inspire the younger generation to go on and help their communities too.