Retailer Shakir Shakoor has tailored his product range to better meet his customers’ needs after appearing on BBC Scotland’s new TV show, Corner Shop Cook-Off. 

Shakoor and his wife, Ruby, are owners of Weaver Row Newsagents in Stirling, Glasgow. 

The 400sq ft shop has a food-to-go space next door, Ruby’s Kitchen, which serves hot dishes. 

In the show, two professional chefs go head to head to cook a three-course meal for £15 using ingredients purchased from a convenience store.

The meals are then judged by the shop’s owners and customers. 

Shakoor said he was initially surprised his store was selected because of the limited range on offer.

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“We only offer basic stock, but were told that the chefs wanted a challenge and the idea was to promote what you can buy in an independent shop,” he said. 

Meals made by the chefs included mushroom pea samosas, chicken katsu curry and spinach cake. 

Shakoor explained how Corner Shop Cook-Off enabled him to gain new insight into how products can be used. 

“After the show, we have started stocking new items that were used in the meals,” he said. “This includes rice and tinned fruit and vegetables. 

“It can be difficult for us striking a balance of increasing our stock in terms of variety, but in this case, it’s what our customers want.

“I never knew tinned spinach could be used in a cake, for example. We’ve had a customer come in to buy it because they wanted to try that recipe.”

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He added that Booker contributed products for free to help fill the shelves.  

Since the programme aired, the store’s social media following has grown. “One of the posts I uploaded of a preview of the show received more than 4,000 views,” said Shakoor. “It’s been a great opportunity, and has enabled us to strike up new conversations with customers.”

The couple were approached by the production company after being noticed on social media. 

Shakoor told betterRetailing: “We regularly update our Facebook and Instagram pages, it’s a real opportunity to command your audience. We were found and contacted because of our online presence.”

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