SPAR UK Store Manager wins North-East Apprentice of the Year

August 28, 2023 IN THE CATEGORY: Awards and prizes

A SPAR store manager, Marie Husthwaite from Newcastle, has been named as a North-East Apprentice of the Year at the North-East Apprentice Awards in England. SPAR UK regional partner James Hall & Co has supported the growth of Marie's career in food retailing over the past eight years.

Marie Husthwaite, store manager of SPAR Fenham, Newcastle, has won the Advanced Apprentice of the Year category in the North-East Apprentice Awards. Marie was chosen as the winner of her category for the impact she delivers instore.

Career growth

She started out at SPAR in 2015, originally in James Hall & Co’s G&E Murgatroyd company-owned retail division, on a temporary contract. Along the way, apprenticeships have been integral for Marie to develop her skills and grow in the retail industry. Marie completed both Level 2 and Level 3 apprenticeships in retail.

Now, Marie has progressed through the ranks to become a store manager at SPAR Fenham, having worked in other Newcastle SPAR stores, including Blakelaw and Shiremoor. She is also about to start a Level 4 in Management with the ambition to become an Area Manager in the future.

Of her achievement, Marie said: “I’m over the moon with the award. I’m so proud and it means so much to me. It was fantastic to celebrate the award alongside colleagues who have been there with me every step of the way in my retail career. I love my job and I’m a completely different person to who I was eight years ago when I started. I’m really excited about the future and to see where I am in eight years’ time.”

Deserved recognition

Fiona Drummond, Company Stores Director at James Hall & Co. Ltd, said: “To see Marie’s extraordinary rise makes me feel very happy. She has relished every opportunity and challenge she has taken on and this is credit to her work ethic and willingness to continuously improve.

“Marie is deserving of this award. She is a brilliant asset for the company due to her impact on the people who work with her on the shop floor, the profitability of her store, and for the positive impression she makes on customers who come through the shop door.”

Importance of Apprenticeships

The North-East Apprenticeship Awards were established to showcase and celebrate a diverse range of skilled apprentices and supporters of apprenticeships across the region. 14 awards categories were open for nominations. Another objective of the Awards was to encourage more businesses to support apprenticeships by showcasing the many benefits. Apprenticeships are fundamental to economic success – they encourage learning, personal and professional growth and allow businesses to shape individuals to fulfil their true potential.

Source: James Hall & Co. Ltd

Read more about SPAR UK


The United Kingdom became a SPAR member in 1956 when SPAR International granted the SPAR licence to a group of independent wholesalers. There are five regional organisations in the UK, continually building the brand’s presence. A central office in London provides national marketing and buying services for the group. SPAR UK comprises independently owned, licensed, retailers and company-owned stores.