When I wrote the April update I was moaning about the weather and in particular the Beast from the East. At the point I’m writing it has not improved a great deal, although the forecasters are promising a significant improvement ………soon. Not surprisingly many conversations in the shop include the current state of the weather and related issues such as the right time to plant out seeds and seedlings in the vegetable patch. I am hoping that by the time you read this we are enjoying better weather and the gardens are starting to get back to “normal”.
The weather did have an impact on newspaper deliveries from the shop when the second lot of snow came. Smiths News, our paper suppliers, failed to deliver on two days. Since then their deliveries to us have been less reliable than usual, sometimes providing us with fewer copies of particular titles than we need. We apologise to any customers who have been affected by this, and hope that we have now returned to a more consistent paper service.
Part of the shop’s mission is to stock local products where possible and appropriate. This is in addition to the well-known national brand items on our shelves. We are members of Hampshire Fare. This not-for-profit organisation was set up 27 years ago by a group of local farmers to raise awareness of Hampshire and Isle of Wight produce. If local produce interests you, take a look at their website – www.hampshirefare.co.uk. Also have a look around the shop at the local items we stock including: free range eggs, honey, apple juices, pies, ice cream, beers and ciders, bread, cheeses and spring water. In addition, from just over the border in Berkshire, we sell a selection of sauces from Atkins and Potts, based in Newbury. It’s worth supporting your local producers.
We have reintroduced a range of frozen meats from a local butcher in Wolverton, and this appears popular with customers. Have a look at what is on offer in the freezer cabinet on your left as you come into the shop, and if you want us to order frozen meat in especially for you please speak to the shop supervisor.
If you value your local community shop but do not have time to volunteer in the shop, you can still contribute by becoming a shareholder. You can become a member of the Shop Association by buying one share for £10. You would be invited to the annual general meeting of the association in order to hear about our progress and plans and to contribute to discussions. Ask for a shareholder application form in the shop.
Finally the Open Studio Art Exhibition is to be held in the community room of the shop from Saturday 11 May for two weeks. This has been a very popular annual event for some time, so come along to view the work of our local artists.
Opening times for the two Bank Holidays in May are as follows:
Monday 7 May and Monday 28 May 7.30-10.00am
Newspapers in the shop and newspaper deliveries will be normal for both of these days