State of the art community supermarket opens in Downpatrick

State of the art community supermarket opens in Downpatrick

Downpatrick has a new fresh foods supermarket, thanks to the opening of the highly anticipated, state of the art EUROSPAR on the Ardglass Road.

The supermarket is a flagship store for owners Henderson Retail after a multi-million-pound investment in the new site, and will see 56 jobs created in the local area, while 17 staff from Connolly’s SPAR in the town, which has been replaced by the new EUROSPAR, have also transferred to the store.

EUROSPAR Downpatrick represents the second fresh foods superstore in County Down following the opening of EUROSPAR Killyleagh in June 2023.

The Delish Made in Store kitchen is a completely new concept for shoppers, providing a fully serviced kitchen where freshly prepared meals and salads that have been made by two local in-store chefs daily can be picked up throughout the day. Chefs Peter and James, from Downpatrick, will create everyday favourites from curry to lasagne, alongside sides and desserts that can be taken home to heat and eat, all made using fresh and local products.

The food to go hot food deli and fresh bar has teams serving up fresh breakfast and lunch options from cooked breakfasts to filled wraps plus EUROSPAR’s popular Delish chicken bar with Southern Fried Chicken and chips throughout the day.

Finally, the Delish Bakery is headed up by two local bakers, Caiomhe and Callum, who will bake a range of fresh breads from baguettes to sourdough, cakes and pastries fresh every day, plus shoppers can see pancakes, soda and potato bread made fresh on the griddle pan throughout the day.

A butchery counter is fully serviced by Devlin’s, the local butchers operated by Michael Devlin from Ardglass. Micky and Mal are Downpatrick’s local butchery experts, giving advice to shoppers while also offering a number of pre-packaged cuts at great value.

The Downpatrick supermarket showcases the best local suppliers Northern Ireland has to offer throughout its selection of fresh produce, freshly pre-prepared own-brand meal ranges and fresh meat and poultry, alongside a huge selection of well-known brands, with over 75% of the fresh produce available in-store sourced locally and providing everything needed for tonight’s tea.

Mark McCammond, Retail Director at Henderson Group says choice, convenience and value can be found at every corner of the store. While traditional tills are manned by the customer service staff, the company’s most innovative, tech-led store will also see four self-check-outs installed.

“It is important for our shoppers to have the choice between traditionally ‘manned’ tills for our staff to help them checkout their shopping, alongside the self-check-outs, which have the exclusive GLORY cash management system installed, meaning shoppers can use both card and cash, which is an excellent addition to a busy forecourt.

“EUROSPAR Downpatrick is a multi-functional site; shoppers will be calling in for fuel and food to go, but we also have shoppers taking advantage of our range of everyday essentials and value prices, to do their weekly shop. It is important we invest in facilities to make both trips as efficient as possible.

“This digitally-led store also enables the team to communicate even more effectively with our shoppers via digital screens, displaying daily and weekly value deals and campaigns, plus offerings available at our Delish Made in Store kitchen as they change throughout the day.”

The in-store team is led by store manager, Lisa McKee, who has been with Henderson Retail for over 14 years, most recently managing the hugely successful EUROSPAR Newcastle.

Lisa commented; “Downpatrick has had a tough few months since the flooding in November last year, which impacted many services and jobs in the town. This 6,275 sq. ft. superstore caters for every shopper’s need, from the local ingredients to make a meal for tonight’s tea, to big brand value deals and an array of freshly made, pre-prepared meals to take home.

“It is rare to have such a size of supermarket that brings that level of service to a town, and we’re delighted to open our doors and bring much needed new jobs to the local area, assisted by the local Jobs & Benefits Office.”

The store will act as a hub for the local residents, schools and community groups in the area, with a key community engagement strategy laid out by Lisa and the store’s dedicated community rep, Maggie Wilcox.

Lisa continued; “As well as fundraising for EUROSPAR’s charity partner, Cancer Fund for Children throughout the year, our store and butchery, Devlin’s, have already supported many local organisations as we prepared to open, including Action Mental Health’s Downpatrick Men’s Shed, All Lives Are Precious (ALPS) - a community mental health hub in Downpatrick, Simon Community NI and Fountain Foodbank.

“We partnered with Michael Devlin to provide a meat parcel to Simon Community’s Saul Street hub, and are continuing that partnership by donating a selection of meals each evening from our Delish production kitchen throughout our opening week. Shoppers can also find a collection point in-store for Fountain Foodbank, which we will donate to the hub from each month.

“Alongside these activities, we have also sponsored Manus and the team at Pop Up Art to support the creative work they carry out in the local community, while also committing to keeping the area clean with regular litter picks throughout the year. Already we have carried out a litter pick along Ardglass Road, St. Dillon’s Avenue and John Street, taking away 15 bags of rubbish from the roadside.”

Mark McCammond finished; “Henderson Retail continues our roll out of electric vehicle charging points from bp pulse on this site, with two chargers complementing the traditional Texaco three-pump fuel forecourt.”

David Hanna, General Manager at NMD (Newry, Mourne and Down) Business attended the opening day of the store, commenting; “Henderson Retail has brought a multi-functional and much needed supermarket to the local area, providing over 70 jobs and showcasing the fantastic local produce available from the area. We wish the team every best wish with the opening and look forward to even more community and local business engagement with the store going forward.”

Mark McCammond concluded; “Sustainability, supporting local suppliers, providing even more choice and value for our shoppers alongside everyday essential services is our top priority for the stores we operate in local areas, and EUROPSAR Downpatrick is the company’s flagship store for 2024 that embodies our continued focus to raise the standards for community retailing throughout Northern Ireland.”