The shop is an extension of the work started by Future Farms in Martin, so will sell their own fruit and vegetables and meat, but complementing this with a range of groceries and non-food products for people to buy. There is also a strong emphasis on goods produced in the immediate local area, so this means chutneys and jams from Damerham and biscuits from Sandleheath to give just two examples.
My role has been to act as a retail advisor, covering a huge range of subjects from how to display goods on which shelves to which wholesalers supply which products. I have also offered access to our suppliers who have a high minimum order which often excludes small retailers ordering from them - I know that was the case when we opened Abbey Stores.
The opening hours for now are Monday to Friday, 9am to 11am and 5pm to 6pm, with Saturday morning 9am to 12pm. The shop is manned entirely by volunteers from the village and the surrounding area and is located in a purpose-fitted room at one side of the village hall - apparently the former chair and table store!
I wish the shop every success for the future and hope it thrives and prospers. The more village shops that are trading successfully the more popular they will come, to the detriment of the supermarkets and their all-pervading penetration of the retail market.
|The crowds gather before the ribbon is cut.|