IGA Xpress Alexandra Hills earns top gong at 2020 Queensland awards

TOP GONG: IGA Xpress Alexandra Hills owner Dan Rigney says community is the key to the store's success.
TOP GONG: IGA Xpress Alexandra Hills owner Dan Rigney says community is the key to the store's success.

A REDLANDS store affectionately known as The Hills IGA has earned the state's top gong for the second year running.

IGA Xpress Alexandra Hills took out the Queensland and Northern NSW Xpress Store of the Year prize at the 2020 IGA Awards of Excellence this month.

Dan Rigney, who owns the store with wife Jacki, said community was the driving force behind the store.

"We know a lot of the families around here by name, we do a lot with the local school," he said.

"I think if you create a really tight community feel and you look after the people, the customers will come.

"You get the confidence then to try new things."

Mr Rigney's is the only Xpress store to have a bakery table double as a bench for customers waiting for their morning coffee from the in-store barista.

"The table of a morning is full of tradies. There's blokes who didn't know each other when they first came in (and) now the painter's working for the builder and the plumber's doing jobs for someone else, and they all know each other by name," he said.

"If you hang around long enough of an afternoon you'll see the changes from the tradies to the mums taking their kids to school, to the older people who come in mid-morning, then back into school kids on the way home again.

"It's a real community hub."

Mr Rigney said his favourite part of the job was interacting with customers.

The store had been in the family for nearly 30 years and in that time, he had accumulated a wealth of stories.

"We used to get four blokes that came here every morning," he said.

"They'd come here and at 6 o'clock in the morning and solve the political and social ills of the world, as old blokes do.

"We decided to put some stools on here, and put their names on them.

"Customers and staff become like family.

"We believe that our customers should leave our store feeling better off for their experience and with a smile on their face."