A first Christmas in any retail business is always exciting and this was certainly true for us. We started the festive season with Julian officially opening the store and we were thrilled by the number of villagers who turned out to show their support and toast the occasion with some Slake Gin from Shoreham. The shop looked wonderfully festive with lots of extra goodies to tempt and entice. Thanks go to Stephen Porti who cut and erected our Christmas tree on what must have been the coldest day of the month. The wreaths made by Sussex Roses were a big hit and added greatly to the festive look of the store.

The new year has brought two new team members. Annie, who will be working 18 hours a week for up to a year as a volunteer trainer, has a wealth of experience to bring to the role and will be a valuable addition to the team. We are confident the trainer role will help our wonderful band of volunteers increase their abilities and confidence while working at the store. We are also delighted to welcome Steve Smith to the management committee. Both as shareholder and shop volunteer, Steve has a broad knowledge of business performance and process improvement, particularly in the retail sector. He has extensive knowledge of supply chain management and contract negotiation and has a strong belief in teamwork and customer focus. Steve is keen to lend his skills and experience to help drive our business forward.

We were incredibly sad to see the closure of Nanny Sue’s Eggs. The eggs had been a feature in the shop for many years. We send Steve and Sue our best wishes. We have sourced an alternative supply of free range eggs but would welcome recommendations if anyone knows of any local producers.

February is the season for romance and this year we will be offering a special local delivery service on Valentine’s Day. Customers can choose to send their valentine either a dozen red roses, a single red rose or a romantic bouquet of Tulips, which in the language of flowers mean ‘perfect love’. Delivery will be available to all local addresses and you can choose any extra items purchased from the shop to send alongside the flowers. There is also an option to make up a gift without flowers, also for delivery. Please ask in store for more details.