Moran’s Centra Strand Road, Derry
A £2m refurbishment expanding its food-to-go offer has reimagined the Moran’s Group site as a destination store, Donna Moran tells Niamh Wallace
Donna and John Moran, the owners of Centra Strand Road, created excitement in their community in 1997 when they brought a deli-counter to Derry/Londonderry. And they have rereated this sense of excitement through a £2m refurbishment of the store, re-opened in April with an extensive selection of food to go on offer to their returning customers.
Strand Road Centra was once known for being a reliable local petrol station. However, the refurbishment – in partnership with the Centra team – has allowed Moran’s to further diversify their store.
The refurbishment has allowed their food-to-go service to go beyond breakfast rolls, serving chopped salads, ice cream and boasting a new state-of-the-art burrito bar. Customers are spoiled for choice in the new and improved Moran’s, bringing an enhanced taste experience to the local community.
“We want to make Centra Strand Road a destination store,” says Donna Moran. “Our customers mainly reach us by car and we want to expand our catchment area to attract people from further afield with the new food we have on offer.”
The store has a diverse clientele to cater for, ranging from students of Ulster University and parents buying school lunches to lorry drivers. Donna and John are focused on improving the store experience for all of their customers, and the investment has created an accessible and modern environment to shop in, doubling the previous retail space and improving digital systems within the stores.
By investing in the expansion of forecourt facilities, Donna and John hope to boost the efficiency and success of their fuel trade by creating more parking spaces and upgrading infrastructure such as fuel pumps.
Moran’s is a family-run business, but this family extends beyond Donna and John. They cultivate loyalty amongst their staff as well as customers, with employees relocating to Moran stores in Ballykelly and Coleraine until the refurbishment was complete.
Many of the original staff have returned to Strand Road Centra following the refurbishment of the store. “We want the working experience of our employees to be improved too; they will spend the most time in the store,” says Donna.
Moran’s continues to serve the community through job creation by hiring deli assistants, chefs, butchers and general store assistants, advertising to increase the size of its staff under the strapline, We Need 30 of the Best Across the North West.
“John and I want this refurbishment to be people-orientated, rewarding our customers and staff for their years of loyalty to us and our stores,” says Donna.
BESPOKE CATERING SERVICE
Other businesses on Strand Road offering hot foodservice, and thus competition for Moran’s, include McDonald’s, KFC and Domino’s Pizza. Moran’s has the competitive advantages of variety and convenience; customers can choose between many different types of food, and the fast-paced deli system allows customers to receive their orders much quicker than in a conventional fast-food system.
The store also offers a healthier alternative to many of these fast-food options through its new Green Kitchen, which is proving popular amongst customers.
Donna and John continue to diversify the experience of their customers and support the community through their catering service. They offer a variety of foodservice such as breakfast, soups and sandwiches, buffets and desserts alongside bespoke menus, with catering staff and equipment hire also available for private and corporate events, as well as weddings. This service can be easily negotiated through their website, www.morans.com, allowing the business to transcend the shop floor.
Ultimately, Donna and John Moran want this multi-million-pound refurbishment to put Centra Strand Road on the map, attracting customers from all over the city with its new array of food to go and upgraded fuel facilities.