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Eroski donates £10,000 on 10-year anniversary

Pic by Johnny Bugeja

Eroski supermarket celebrated its 10th anniversary on Monday with its owners donating a total of £10,000 to local charities, £1,000 for each year since they opened.

Presenting the donations to some of the selected charities at Eroski on Winston Churchill Avenue was Danial Massias.

“When we first opened, my father and other late Eroski director decided to launch with a £5,000 pound donation to charity. We were wondering how we could mark this special 10 year anniversary,” he said.

“Because of times being the way they are and all the charities seem to be underfunded, we thought the best way to spend our money rather than a party or something else was to give a £10,000 donation to these much needed charities that do a whole load of work for Gibraltar mostly behind the scenes.”

One of the charities receiving a donation was Women in Need.

Michelle Perera, a spokeswoman for the charity, said the donation meant a lot especially this time of the year.

“So it will be great for the ladies. A little bit extra,” she said.

The charity received £1,000. At present there are 28 women staying at the home and 32 children between the ages of 1 and 16.

Each woman will receive a voucher so they can get whatever they want. But, in addition, it is nice for the women to have a choice like most people do.

“Maybe they're short of presents like toys, and maybe they have enough food because we provide them, like with the cakes, with sweets for the children, chocolates, and we buy them the turkey, we buy them the pork as well. And things like that,” she said.

Yvette Gomez received the cheque on behalf of Cancer Relief Gibraltar.

“It's fantastic. We need to raise, on a yearly basis, around £380,000. So every little helps to be quite honest,” she said.

“£500 pounds of vouchers is fantastic.”

“We can use them for the daycare that we have two days a week. We can help in that respect.”

“It will help for any other fundraising events that we have. Which we need to do a lot. So yeah, it means a lot,” she added.

Fr Charlie Azzopardi received £2,000 that will go towards feeding people via his soup kitchen.

“I’m extremely grateful,” he said.

“And not only because of what they have done with this donation, but all the help they gave us to do the food hampers, money and also for the last ten years they have continued always to be there for us.”

“So especially, extremely grateful.”

“Two years ago, during Covid, their staff was the one who did all the bags [for the Christmas hampers] because we couldn't use the kids. So the relationship goes further than today.”

Jayne Wink from Caring for Gibraltar and Darren Olivero from the men’s shelter each received £1,000.

“It means a lot to us,” said Ms Wink noting they are holding a food bank later.

“That means we'll be able to help people not only now to increase this [food bank], but after Christmas, which is really a period when people start struggling.”

“So this will help us for nearly three or four months to be able to feed a lot of families, a lot of mental health service users, a lot of men in need and a lot of people that are homeless.”

Mr Olivero added: “we're doing food banks every couple of months. And we wanted to get one in before Christmas. So this has been a lifesaver.”

The EV Foundation Trust received £3,500 and Nicole Jones, from the charity, said: “This means a lot.”

“Eroski’s support is valuable for foundation, because it's not only a support through Christmas, it's a support throughout the year, we have a very tight and close relationship. And they are there for all of our needs.”
“We work together with different projects, not only on vouchers, but we have the lunch appeal. And there's many, many future projects that we'll be working on in the near future.”

Food and gift vouchers will be given to individuals or families who need them.

“We used to give out non-perishable items, gifts. We don't do that anymore. Parents, families prefer actual vouchers. And that's what we do. So we get gifts and food, and then they go out into the streets and they buy presents for the children just like you and I would,” said Ms Jones.

She added that the charity does not only need support during Christmas, but throughout the whole year.

“Every day of the year, every day of the week, every day of the month, because of what our charity does,” she said.

“It makes people be able to wake up every day and have electricity, have hot water, have food. They want basic necessities, necessities you don't need in Christmas only. You need them throughout the year, every single day of their lives.”

“Though people out there always think that we are getting a lot of financial support, our expenditure is very high. It's just like if I was to tell you ‘try not getting paid this month’. We need constant donations because our expenditure is a daily constant thing.”

“And not one family. We're dealing with ten to 15 a day. So constant support, constant donations, and we will keep with our constant awareness and our constant hard work.”

On the 10-year anniversary for Eroski, Mr Massias said: “it’s great to have achieved this milestone. It's gone by really fast and I am looking forward to the next ten years.”

A lot has charged for the Eroski empire on the Rock in the past ten years.
“We started not knowing too much about the business. And we've gone learning as the years have gone by, with experience and from our partners Eroski and Waitrose, they've been very helpful towards our journey,” said Mr Massias.

“There's still a lot more to learn.”

On the shops’ success he said: “We think we hit the right spot with a mix of products. Waitrose and Eroski. We've got stuff that people in Gibraltar have been used to buying under one roof.”

“And like I said, very supportive partners who helped us reach that spot.”

“Things evolve, and hopefully we'll keep evolving with the Gibraltarian customer.”

The evolution may include shops in the south district and down Devil’s Tower Road.

Mr Massias thanked the community for their continued support and for all the help in the last 10 years and that he looks forward to another ten years of Eroski in Gibraltar.

He added: “A big thank you from me to my wife, parents, siblings, Sol and Yael who are as much involved in this as me.”

“Ruth with whom we consult on and who designed the airport store.”

“Eroski, the best franchisors anyone could ask for, including Salva who has been with us since day one.”

“Waitrose and Partners for their continued support, manager Daniel Cabaleiro and the whole team, our amazing customers, suppliers, hauliers and the whole community.”

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