Shop life is never dull: always challenges to face, opportunities to explore, adaptations to make to meet the changing times.  But we do it together.  I find it so exciting to see how everybody appreciates our village store, and is willing to go the extra mile to support it, either by volunteering, serving on the committee, or supporting it by making purchases.  Someone said to me the other day that there’s no notice saying, ‘We will not tolerate abusive behaviour to our staff,’ and it really struck me how everyone pulls together, wanting our shop to work.  From idle chit-chat and friendly banter with customers, to making home deliveries to the house-bound, the store epitomises (to me at least) how shops should be – personal, rather than anonymous.  Everyone has a name.  And that’s something very precious these days. 

Anyway, I digress.  I meant to tell you about the new challenges we face, opportunities to explore, and adaptations to make.  With Becky’s departure (about which I wrote last month), lots of new roles have opened up.  So often we don’t think about how much someone is doing until they’re not doing it any more.  So, we know that so many of you have hidden talents, now may be the time to let them out of the bag.  All you budding florists (sorry, bad joke) – could you order plants and flowers, or make sure that seasonal displays are well-stocked and attractive?  Or you proud owners of a larger vehicle, maybe a 4×4 – could you do a weekly run to Bookers, the cash and carry we use?  Or you interior designers – could you help make our shop attractive and user friendly?  We have a huge variety of stock, and it’s always a challenge to squeeze it into the limited space we have, without it looking too cramped.  I’ve always admired the huge chandelier over the bakery aisle – apparently that came from Becky.  

On the same theme, it can feel like our little shop is bursting at the seams when a big delivery comes in.  Well, let’s be honest – our little ship is bursting at the seams after a big delivery comes in.  Is there anyone out there who could be part of a team to help put stock away, preferably on a regular basis?  You’d learn a lot about the range of stock we have, which is very impressive for a little shop.  

The Sheep Fair is almost upon us (September 9th to be precise) and we are planning to serve pastries and sausage rolls as well as teas and coffees.  We just need one or two people to help man (or woman) our stall in the morning, and then to help clear up later in the afternoon.  Pretty please!  

I’ve just noticed – I’m doing a lot of asking this month.  But it just shows what an enormous task it is to run a village shop to a high standard.  I guess nobody knew quite how much work it would be when we decided to purchase the premises back in 2017 – but that’s probably just as well!

But none of it would be worth it if it wasn’t for all our lovely customers, some of whom come in more than once a day!  We need you!  Thank you so very much!  Please continue!  Apparently Royal Mail is offering to collect parcels from your home, which, on the face of it, sounds like a good idea.  Please, could you just bear in mind that it would have a huge impact on our shop if many people stopped coming in (and you’d miss out on seeing all our friendly faces behind the till).

PS. In case you need to contact the shop about anything, our phone number is 01903 877110.

Jean Burden