Coloured tops are back!  I am, of course, talking about milk.  For the last few months, whole milk, semi-skimmed and skimmed have all shared white/transparent tops, done to save on costs, but very confusing.  Well, I’m very pleased to be able to announce that we now have a new supplier, Downsview Farmhouse based in Ringmer, near Lewes, so fairly local.  We have been able to negotiate a great deal with them, whereby not only does the milk have coloured tops to identify what sort it is, but also, it sells at a price that competes favourably with the major supermarkets.  No longer do we need to pay more for the convenience of not having to drive to a supermarket.  We get the best deal by staying right here!   Customers who have tried it have, not surprisingly, given very positive feedback.

I’m very aware that in telling you this at the beginning of the article, you might not read any more.  At this very moment, you might be putting on your coat and making your way to the shop as fast as your legs will carry you.  Queues might be forming outside the shop, as everyone, desperate for some good news, tells their friends and neighbours. 

Anyway, I will continue, in the hope that some of you, at least, will finish reading before you dash off.

Sales have been good in the shop.  We are very aware that a number of people are struggling as the cost of living continues to increase. Maybe if the turmoil in the world calms down we will see some improvement. In the meantime, the management of the shop, in consultation with the committee, is constantly reviewing our supplies and suppliers. 

Talking of our suppliers, one of our regulars, Bramble Foods, always offers some lovely products.  Their stem ginger cake is second to none, and always popular, as is their caramelised onion chutney.  I can highly recommend their shortbread biscuits, which are great to have on standby in case the neighbours drop in for a cup of afternoon tea. 

We are very well supported by our team of volunteers, and have recently recruited some new members.  You are most welcome!  We look forward to our Volunteers’ Meeting on 27th March, when our volunteers can hear more of how the shop is doing, and have an opportunity to meet each other. 

We have a vacancy coming up shortly, and, this time, for a paid position.  We need someone to work in the Post Office to provide holiday cover, and also do several regular shifts during the week.  An advert will be going up shortly in the shop window.  Whilst it is hard work, it’s a good way to get to meet a lot of people and find out what’s going on in the village.  Please pop in to the shop and ask Angus for further details. 

We are, as ever, very grateful to our paid staff, who, in addition to the normal duties of all shop workers, have to keep half an eye on all the volunteers, and be ready to step in and sort things out at a moment’s notice.  We are very pleased that we have been able to award our permanent paid staff with a well-deserved pay rise.  And no picket lines, and no days lost through strike action! 

So many customers comment on the fantastic collection of cards we stock, and I’m sure our Mother’s Day cards will be very popular.  So don’t leave it too late to pop in and buy yours.  We’ll also be selling pot plants and other small gifts for you to give your mum.  And soon, of course, Easter will be upon us, with its chocolate eggs and other delights.  Never a dull moment! 

Jean Burden