Freshford community shop’s a national role model

Peter King (centre, blue jumper) from The Galleries with teams from Braishfield in Hampshire, Bledington in Gloucestershire and Norton sub Hamdon in Somerset       (49166)

Peter King (centre, blue jumper) from The Galleries with teams from Braishfield in Hampshire, Bledington in Gloucestershire and Norton sub Hamdon in Somerset (49166)

First published in Bradford

The Galleries Shop and Cafe in Freshford showed other community shops how it is done when they hosted a workshop this month.

Nine aspiring community shop teams from around the country congregated at the volunteer-run community shop, which serves Freshford and Limpley Stoke, to hear about the process and issues they may face.

Volunteers from the shop, along with visitors from other successful community shops, gave presentations and helped the teams develop their own action plans.

The teams toured the community shop, which won the Bath Business Award for Independent Retailer of the Year in 2011, and were given information packs to go along with their action plans.

Mike Newby, chair of the shop management committee, said: “We are always on the lookout for something new to interest our customers, while always making sure that we have everything a household needs, at reasonable prices.”

There are now over 300 community shops in the UK. The Plunkett Foundation is the main supporter of this development, as well as community pubs.

Mr Newby added: “We are proud that the Plunkett Foundation has chosen us to host this event. Clearly they think we have a great story to tell, and indeed our shop achieved a turnover of £330,000 last year, in only its fourth year of operation.”

The shop is now on the lookout for a new manager as Christine McKenzie, manager for the past four-and-a-half years, is leaving to work at Mystery Diners in Bath.

Find more information see www.galleriesshop.co.uk or call 01225 722511.

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