The family behind SPAR Fry’s Road in Ballymena are celebrating 30 years of being part of the community this year.

Since 1988, Eamon McKillop’s SPAR on Fry’s Road has been a pillar of the community, providing every day essentials and services, as well as supporting the local area through job creation and supporting numerous local groups and charities.

The McKillop’s store is a second-generation family-run business, retaining its family atmosphere; Eamon’s wife Anne-Marie and children, Nadelle, Ronan and Corey also work alongside him in the store.

The store and its services have developed to meet community demands over the past 30 years with three major refits, taking place in 1999, 2002 and the most recent taking place in 2012.

The investments in the business mean constant improvements for the shoppers who rely on the store for every day basics and grocery shops, which has ensured McKillop’s SPAR as a fixture in the heart of the community.

At a recent SPAR UK conference, the team were recognised for their outstanding contribution to the local community, which, for Eamon is at the heart of everything they do.

He says; “Over the years, we have provided sports day kits to local schools such as Braidside Integrated P.S & St Brigid’s P.S, and have been heavily involved with local sports clubs including Ballymena Swimming Club, St. Patrick’s Basketball Team, All Saints Gaelic Club and Ballymena Rugby Club”

Paddy Doody, Sales and Marketing Director, from Henderson Group added; “Eamon is one of our most respected retailers. He is very well-known throughout the Ballymena area and this is testament to the enormous contribution he has made to the community throughout the last 30 years.”

Eamon says of working with the Henderson Group; “In terms of financial, logistical and product and marketing support, The Group has been a great partner. The team has provided daily help and guidance and has continued to work hand in hand with us for the past 30 years. They are an invaluable company to have taken this journey with.”

To celebrate 30 years in the community, SPAR Fry’s Road enjoyed a throwback to the 80s earlier this year, with a range of popular products being sold for just 88p. The family also held a family fun day for everyone in the area and even gave away fantastic prizes including Afternoon Tea in the Galgorm Resort & Spa, and a luxury two-night break at Ramada Encore Belfast, which was won by Stephen Campbell.