Mel and Gill Luke, owners of Luke's IGA X-press in Buderim, have won the chain's top award. They are taking on the big supermarkets with fresh local produce and good service.
Mel and Gill Luke, owners of Luke's IGA X-press in Buderim, have won the chain's top award. They are taking on the big supermarkets with fresh local produce and good service. Iain Curry

Catering to community part of grocers' winning formula

WHEN it comes to the battles of the supermarkets, it's the little players who are causing a big stir with consumers.

The Buderim and Dicky Beach IGA X-press stores on the Sunshine Coast have been recognised in the IGA Retailer of the Year Awards for Queensland and Northern NSW, with the Buderim store taking out the top prize.

Luke's IGA X-press Buderim owners Mel and Gill Luke opened the store two years ago and have worked hard to cater to the needs of their community.

"We are proud of the store and have tried to make it suit the local demographic," Mrs Luke said.

"The store is aimed at Buderim people who we feel quite close to having lived in the same house in the middle of Buderim for the past 27 years."

The Lukes own eight IGA stores across the coast and said it was important to have passionate staff and to source local produce where possible.

"We get a lot of local produce at Buderim - pineapples, watermelons, strawberries, cucumbers, lettuce, mushrooms and lots of fruit and veg," Mrs Luke said.

"We hope to gradually build and improve on our range."

The other Coast winner was IGA X-press Dicky Beach who took out the Fresh Department of the Year Award.

Owners Cody and Theona Barton opened the store only a year ago and were pleased their hard work had paid off.

"I think our biggest asset is our customer service. That's out number one priority in our store," Mr Barton said.

"We try to remember everyone's name."


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