A COUPLE of popular Redlands IGA stores have been named among the best in Australia.
The IGA Awards of Excellence was held in late November, with individual state events broadcast across the country due to COVID-19.
The awards are judged on criteria including customer service, community pride, department excellence, brand values and performance.
IGA Xpress Alexandra Hills took out the IGA Xpress Store of the Year award yet again, adding another plaque to its growing collection.
Meanwhile, SUPA IGA Mount Cotton won a slew of awards including SUPA IGA Store of the Year, National Retailer of the Year and prizes for its deli, meat and fresh produce departments.
Dan Rigney, who owns IGA Xpress Alexandra Hills with his wife Jacki, said his store was not only a place for people to buy groceries, but was also a meeting spot for locals.
"We love what we do, and the entire team is committed to supporting our local community however we can," he said.
"We look forward to the interactions we have with the locals every day and truly believe that every customer should leave our store feeling better for the experience and with a smile on their face."
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.
Out the front of the store, there are four stools bearing the name of a group of regular customers who would sit there each morning.
Accepting his award, Mr Rigney thanked his hard working, dedicated staff.
The store, which was the blueprint for Cleveland's Bloomfield Street IGA, also has an in-store nutritionist.
Store owner Tyrone Jones said staff and owners aimed to deliver a first-class shopping experience like no other.
"We are proud to be able to give back to our local community through our charity, Heart of the Community Foundation wherever possible," he said.
"This award acknowledges the hard work, commitment and passion of the entire team who work hard every day to make this store what it is, and I couldn't be prouder."