A Pembrokeshire convenience shop and post office has won a ‘best in the UK’ title.

Tenby Stores and Post Office is open for nearly 90 hours a week.

And owner Vince Malone is there for around 60 of them.

But he and his wife Fiona took time out in the week to travel to Birmningham for the gala dinner of solo retailers’ network, Independent Achievers’ Academy (IAA),where they were nominated for three of its 10  Category Star awards.

“We were overjoyed to win the Customer Service award – it was lovely to be acknowledged,” said Vince, who has had a long career in retail, including store management with Sainsbury’s in London.

“I was just getting ready to clap for the winner of the UK Overall Best Shop when I heard our name called out.

Western Telegraph: Fiona and Vince's customer service ethos has made a great impression on their customersFiona and Vince's customer service ethos has made a great impression on their customers

“I couldn’t believe it – we’ve put a huge amount of hard work into the business, but there are some amazing shops out there and so to be acjbnowledged as the best of them is a incredible feeling.

Western Telegraph: Vince is pictured centre stage with his award, alongside the other Category StarsVince is pictured centre stage with his award, alongside the other Category Stars

“Our customers and people from all over the country have been sending us congratulations.

“It’s certainly put a bounce in our step.”

Vince, 55; Fiona, 50, and their children re-located to Pembrokeshire from St Albans and took over Tenby Post Office in its previous location in Warren Street in 2015.

They moved to the current premises opposite Tenby’s famous Five Arches two years ago, and have expanded so successfully that they now head a team of 14 staff members, who are ready to serve everything from sausages to postage stamps with a smile.

Western Telegraph: Vce and Fiona outside their award-winning Tenby StoresVce and Fiona outside their award-winning Tenby Stores

The business’s day starts early with a the morning paper round which reaches 200 customers, and goes through until 9pm every day except Sunday, when ‘early closing’ is 7.30pm.

“We choose our staff for their personalities, not their retail experience,” said Vince, who recently became president of thr Welsh Federation of Rertail Newsagents “They all know how to talk to people and how to help them, and that gives customers a good reason to return.”


The gala dinner of the IAA recognised the achievements of independent news and convenience retailers across the UK and Ireland who are consistently excelling in the core principles of retailing and going above and beyond for their customers and communities.

Despite a challenging year with supply issues, ever-increasing running costs, staff shortages and changes in consumer demand, independent retailers have shown that they can continue to deliver high standards and grow their businesses through continuous improvement and innovation.

The IAA is a branch of Newtrade Media, whose managing director, Parin Gohil, said: ‘The judges could clearly see that Vince and Fiona excel across all 10 categories of the IAA, with a real focus on finding new, and better, ways to give their customers a first class in-store experience.

"They are an inspiration!"