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Curries prove hot stuff at the Oasis Service Station

21 November, 2012

A North Devon forecourt owner has seen a surge in sales – and attention from the local and national press – after he added home-made curries to his range.

Naeem Ahmad (pictured right), who has run the Oasis Service Station at Braunton for four and a half years, says sales have grown to 250-300 units a week since their introduction in September and both footfall and fuel sales have increased.

The curries are supplied in microwaveable containers and stocked in the store’s sandwich chiller. The range has grown to 24 options with around 15-16 in stock at any one time. There is a core range of six products that are always in stock and the rest are rotated.

Ahmad, whose curry offer has made headlines in the Sun and Daily Star, told Forecourt Trader: “We are seeing a lot of new faces since we introduced the curry. We saw a lot of new customers when we got a Lottery terminal, but we have seen even more for the curries.

“I never expected sales to grow so fast. In my business plan I thought we could reach 300 a week after a year.

“We live in an area where people speak to each other and news has got around by word of mouth.”

Ahmad was inspired to introduce the curries after customers inquired about the cooking aromas that were coming from the back of the shop where he was cooking his supper, and suggested he should sell them.

He said: “Cooking is my hobby and all the ingredients are ones I use at home. They are made in a totally different way to the curries in restaurants.”

When he started selling the curries he was concerned about possible wastage but he said he had not had a single container go to waste.

Oasis Service Station has four pumps and parking for around 8-10 cars, and the store is about 1,300sq ft.

Picture courtesy of North Devon Journal