Ewelme Village Store crowned best in region for contribution to community

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Sarah Maine, Chairman Ewelme Store

01491 825292 /07711 111406


Ewelme Village Store has been crowned the winner of the SouthEast Award as part of the Rural Community Co-operative Awards 2017, the only national awards programme recognising community co-operation around the UK.


Ewelme Village Store is a not-for-profit community initiative, run and operated by daily managers and local volunteers. Any profits made are either re-invested in the store or the local community.

We are a friendly store, welcoming villagers, visitors, and walkers.  We are a popular stop for an increasing number of cyclists who enjoy the use of our pump, inner tubes and recently upgraded toilet facilities.  Our Tea Room offers a range of hot and cold drinks, sandwiches, bacon rolls, homemade soup and cakes.

The store sells a range of basic groceries, fresh bread, fruit and vegetables, frozen foods, and newspapers.  We have a licence to sell alcohol and stock wine, beer, cider and a limited range of spirits including our best-selling locally distilled Twisting Spirit.

The Rural Community Co-operative Awards are run by Plunkett Foundation, the national charity supporting people to set up and run community co-operatives – businesses that are owned and run democratically by large numbers of people from within their local area – to help overcome issues ranging from isolation and loneliness to poverty.


‘’We are absolutely delighted to have won this award. It was been real boost to our community who take great pride in the shop and contribute in so many different ways. Thank you to everyone for your much appreciated support.’’ Sarah Maine, Chairman, Ewelme Village Store.


Ewelme Village Store competed with shortlisted entries and was crowned the best community owned co-operative in the SouthEast Region. The winners were announced at a national ceremony in London to an invited audience of over 100 special guests from around the UK.


James Alcock, General Manager at Plunkett Foundation said: “The winners of the Rural Community Co-operative Awards all represent fantastic examples of community enterprise. The award nominations clearly demonstrated community co-operatives at the top of their game; all the winners truly deserve this accolade. We wish them all every success for the future.”


As well as the award itself, Ewelme Village Store will receive a party pack from the Plunkett Foundation to help them celebrate their success with their staff, volunteers and community. The packs, sponsored by Power to Change, will be posted to groups in the new year.


Community co-operatives come in many forms: shops, pubs, bakeries, farms, community hubs, woodlands, broadband projects – the list is endless! They are a business, but trade primarily for the benefit of the local community. Like any business, a community co-operative must be profitable. Due to their focus on the local community, and investing profits back into the business or local area, they are able to succeed where other commercial ventures may fail. For example, around 400 commercial village shops close each year and in the region of 21 pub closures a week, community-owned shops and co-operative pubs not only represent a better form of business, they directly respond to some of the key challenges facing rural communities today such as lack of services and isolation.




Notes to Editors:


About the Rural Community Co-operative Awards 2017:

The Rural Community Co-operative Awards are about celebrating the most inspiring examples of people in rural areas working together to improve their communities. They are designed to help communities celebrate their own success and learn from each other, and to raise awareness about the co-operative model and community ownership to a wider audience. For more information visit the Awards website at: www.communityownershipawards.com


About Plunkett Foundation:

Plunkett Foundation (www.plunkett.co.uk) helps communities to take control of their challenges and overcome them together. We support people, predominantly in rural areas, to set up and run life-changing community co-operatives; enterprises that are owned and run democratically by large numbers of people in their community. They help people to tackle a range of issues, from isolation and loneliness to poverty, and come in many forms including shops, cafes, pubs and land-based initiatives, and everything in between.


About community co-operatives:

Community co-operatives can come in many forms: shops, pubs, bakeries, farms, community hubs, farmers’ markets, woodlands, broadband projects – the list is endless. They are businesses, but they trade primarily for the benefit of their community. They are controlled by the community, and they have open and voluntary membership, actively encouraging people to get involved by becoming members. They do this by offering shares in the co-operative, the cost of which are set at a level that the majority of people will be able to afford. Click here for more information - https://www.plunkett.co.uk/what-are-community-co-operatives




Friday 1st December from 6pm

We’d love to see you!  Please come and join us for mulled wine, nibbles and carol singing.


Latest Store News

November 2017 Update

Our Christmas stock is now in and we have a wide variety of enticing goods to help you find just the right gift.  We also have a range of stationery and other items aimed at young children.


The Ewelme calendar - Our 2018 Ewelme calendar is now on sale for £5.99 – a great gift for those friends who like to reminisce about Ewelme.  The photographs are wonderful.


New! Conker Gin - In addition to Twisted Spirit Gin, we are now selling Conker Gin.  This has excellent reviews from connoisseurs and is described as “top-notch small batch gin distilled in Dorset from British wheat spirit and New Forest Spring water’.  A perfect gift for those who are enjoying the current gin revival.


New! Racalia Olive Oil - New seasons Racalia Olive oil is now available in store, courtesy of Alison Richards who produces it at her olive grove in Italy.  If you like the bottled oil, you can refill the bottle from the Olive Oil in a Bag, also in the shop.


Open Evening - We hope very much that you will join us for our Christmas Open Evening from 6.00pm on Friday 1st December.  Come and enjoy mulled wine, nibbles and carol singing whilst choosing from our wide range of Christmas stock.


Want to volunteer? - We always need volunteers, so do please contact Sarah Maine srhmaine@aol.com if you would like to help us, either regularly or occasionally.  It is an entertaining and stimulating place to work.



October 2017 Update

We have a number of new initiatives in the shop this month – quite apart from the newly upgraded till which is both exciting and challenging!


Oxfordshire Apple Juice - This Autumn the Ewelme Village Shop will be selling juice pressed from locally grown apples.  The proceeds of the sales will be split between the shop, to contribute towards the running costs, and Kamran’s Ward at the Oxford Children’s Hospital, which treats children with cancer.  The Oxfordshire juice makes an excellent gift, with a shelf life of a year, tastes delicious and most importantly will help two worthy causes.  Limited quantities and a rumoured excellent ‘vintage’ makes this a must have!


British pork sausages and British bacon - now in store.


Twisting Spirit gin - locally produced gin – three distinct flavours; Douglas Fir; Earl Grey; and Kaffir Lime – make great presents.


Homemade Soup - available to eat in or take away.


A new range of delicious tray-bakes - choose from Tiramisu slice; Caramel Heaven; gluten free pecan and walnut; all butter shortbread and more….


September 2017 Update

We have had a busy August in the shop with many visitors and a few staff changes.


Danny, Chloe, Caitlin and Lydia, our weekend staff, are all leaving to go to University or new schools.    They have all been with us for a while and we hope to welcome them back in the holidays.  In their places, we welcome Ellie, Olivia, Ellie and Amy.


We also say goodbye to Ali, our Tuesday manager, who is leaving to pursue her career in making leather goods.  She will be much missed but we are looking forward to welcoming Donna (Tuesday) and Ann (Sunday) as part of the team.


In addition to our new staff, we have a number of new initiatives;


  • Have you tried our locally distilled (South Stoke) Twisting Spirit gin?  There are three flavours to try:  Kaffir Lime and Lemongrass; Earl Grey; and Douglas Fir.  They are all selling fast and available to taste in the Shepherd’s Hut.
  • We have finally found a supplier of British pork products who can meet the latest stringent labelling requirements.  We are now stocking British pork sausages, bacon and ham from our local supplier.
  • Are you frustrated to find that you have missed a delivery whilst out?  For a small donation of 50p, ask for the parcel to be delivered to the shop.  We will record it and advise you when it is ready for collection.
  • Wine Tasting events - contact Sue Evans through the shop if you are interested in attending one of these events.
  • We offer free WI-FI in store.  The password is ‘coffeeplease’.


July 2017 Update

At the time of writing it is very hot and humid, and storms are forecast before the day is over.  Let’s hope it’s not the end of the summer!  Some latest news for you:


  • The store was awarded 5/5 when SODC made their regular Health inspection at the end of June.  A big ‘thank you‘ must go to our managers and volunteers who all help us to adhere to these high standards.
  • Iced coffee is wonderful on a hot day and we can offer you three sorts; straightforward coffee; skinny; and mocha.
  • Our fruit and vegetables are now supplied the The Village Place in Benson.  We are pleased to be using a local supplier once again.
  • Cream teas are served on the first Tuesday of every month.  Two delicious home-made scones, jam and cream for £5 per person.
  • Have you tried our toasted teacakes?  An idea perhaps for the cooler weather, but we have it on good authority that they are delicious.
  • We have a new range of very amusing animal greetings cards.  ’Dirty Dancing’ is particularly good!


Finally a reminder to all cyclists that we carry a supply of some of the items you may need in an emergency – inner tubes and a fixed pump, and of course our newly refurbished toilet, plus an unlimited supply of water.


May 2017 Update

Our new customer toilet is now fully available.  We must say a big ‘thank you’ to the Friends of Ewelme Watercress Beds, the Elm Club, to Charles and Ginny Light and last but not least, to Peter Green who made the necessary alterations.  Without the help of all these and many others, this work and excellent result, would not have been possible.


We should like to issue a positive and emphatic welcome to all cyclists!  We can offer replacement pumps and inner tubes, water refills and sustaining snacks – not to mention the new loo.


Our delicious home-made soups are £3.00 to take away (frozen) and £4.50 with a roll to eat in our tea room.


We are selling cards of pretty local scenes, by the Watercress Painters.


Books of Terry Allsop’s beautiful views of Ewelme are on sale at £14.99 and make a wonderful gift.


Our normal range of useful and interesting groceries and fresh goods, gifts and cards and many other items are all available at competitive prices and we hope to welcome you as often as possible to both the shop and tea room.


March 2017 Update

The weather is still very cold at the time of writing but there are plenty of signs of Spring, so let’s hope it’s arrived in all it’s beauty and promise by the time you read this.


New Oil Syndicate - Sarah Maine has concluded successful discussions with Orion, a large farming buying group which orders 120 million litres of oil a year on behalf of its customers. Sarah has sent a detailed email to all those Ewelme residents who have indicated that they wish to join the Syndicate?. Please contact Sarah at srhmaine@aol.com or call her on 01491 825292 if you have not yet joined and would like to do so. Deliveries will be made in January, May and November, with an extra delivery in September for heavy users.

New range of Homemade Soups - These are available in the Tea Room for £4.50 with a roll and butter, or for £3.00 to take away. The flavours cater for gluten-free, dairy-free and vegetarian requirements and include spicy bean & chorizo, lentil & bacon, curried parsnip, carrot & coriander, sweet potato, red pepper, and cream of watercress.


New range of sweets in our jars, including some old favourites – assorted toffees, butterscotch, rhubarb and custard, and more.


Customer loo up-date. A big ‘thank you’ to everyone for your continuing donations. We have evaluated three quotes for the work and have appointed Peter Green, a builder who is currently working at High House. Once the wall has been built, we shall need to have shelves put up and some decorating done: offers of help would be very much appreciated.


A very Happy Easter to all our customers.


Year End Accounts to 31/03/2016

EVS – YE 31.12.16 – Accs DRAFT v2 (for AGM)


Latest Store News

2015 YE Accounts (for AGM)

EVS – YE 31.12.15 – Accs DRAFT v4 (for AGM)


AGM – Thursday 19th May 7.00pm, Watercress Centre

It’s that time of year when the Ewelme Village Store committee step down to make way for any new aspiring committee members.   Please come along and show your support.  If you are interested in joining the committee and would like to know more, please speak to Sarah Maine or Cara Chapman.  Application forms are available in the shop if you are interested in joining – we would really appreciate new members to help sustain our village store.


Oil Syndicate

The next oil syndicate delivery will be no later than 13th May 2016.  The price will be 29.33 pence per litre exc. VAT.

If you would like to join the syndicate, and share in the benefits of bulk buying, please contact Amber Nash at CERTAS Energy on 01603 885156 or Amber.Nash@certasenergy.co.uk and ask to join the Ewelme Syndicate.


Home-made Cream Teas

On the first Tuesday of every month, from 2 – 4.30pm, we will be offering home-made cream teas, consisting of tea/coffee, a scone, jam and cream, at a price of  £4.50 per head.  We will be setting up additional outdoor tables, so bring a friend and come and join us.


New Elderflower champagne – for those of you who want to treat yourself to a non-alcoholic tipple, try our new elderflower champagne at just £5.25 a bottle.


Have a meeting in the village?  Having friends over for tea?  We can help!    We can provide you with a buffet sandwich lunch or afternoon tea, please just ask us for details.


Now the sun has finally re-appeared, perhaps it’s time for hosting a barbecue?  Try our Black Pig sausages, and purchase your charcoal and disposable barbecues from us, now in store.



AGM Minutes and EVS Accounts YE 31.12.14


Please find below the AGM minutes and the shop accounts for the year ending 31.12.14.


AGM Minutes 6.5.15


EVS – YE 31.12.14 – Accounts v2

Staffing arrangements and opportunities for voluntary and paid work at Ewelme Store

We are open 7 days (44 hours) a week and have a paid ‘Daily Manager’ in the store at all times. The Daily Manager is responsible for the day to day operation of the store, focussing on excellent customer service, ordering from suppliers, health and safety/environmental health issues and staff and cash management. Each Manager works one or two days a week and is recruited to work either as a Weekend manager (26 weeks a year) or a Daily Manager (one or two days a week, Monday to Friday).


From Monday to Friday, the Daily Manager has help from a Volunteer who typically works a 2-3 hour shift. At the weekend, we pay 16-18 year olds to provide general support including till operation, tea room and administrative duties.


We also provide opportunities for those students doing the service element of their Duke of Edinburgh award, and 4 students annually on the Business and Social Enterprise scheme at Reading University.


Volunteering opportunities; We are always interested in hearing from anyone who might like to volunteer in the shop.

Opportunities for Paid work: From July, we have a vacancies

(i) for a 16-18 year old to work approximately 5 hours a week on a Sunday morning

(ii) from September, when our current manager will be off to University,  we are looking for 2 Weekend Managers. Employing two weekend managers means that each of them work approximately 26 weekends a year.

(iii) a Cover manager – to provide ad hoc cover, approximately 15 days a year to cover sickness and holidays


The store offers great employment opportunities for anyone who is customer focussed and needs some flexibility in employment. If you are interested, please contact Sarah Maine, srhmaine@aol.com for further details.

AGM Meeting – 6th May, 7.30pm, Ewelme Village Hall

All are welcome!


Please come along to the AGM Ewelme Village Store, at 19.30 6 May in the Village hall.


After a brief summary of past year’s performance, we invite questions from attendees and then elect the management committee for 2015/16. If you would like to join our committee and need to find out more, please speak to an existing committee member and make sure you are nominated in the ‘Nominations’ box in the shop.


Current committee: Sarah Maine, Cara Chapman, Suzanne Clough, Kirstie Scott, Ian Winton, Katie Hall


Latest Store News

AGM – 6th May 7.30pm, Village Hall

It’s that time of year when the Ewelme Village Store committee step down to make way for any new aspiring committee members.   Please come along and show your support.  If you are interested in joining the committee and would like to know more, please speak to Sarah Maine or Cara Chapman.  Application forms are available in the shop if you are interested in joining – we would really appreciate new members to help sustain our important village store.


New Chiller

We are pleased to tell you that we have a brand new chiller in the store, thanks to donations from Agrivert and the Ewelme Parish Council.


Village Store News

What a very cold January and February we have had!  At least the days are lengthening and there is cheer to be found in birdsong and other welcome signs of Spring.  The shop had a very quiet January and, more than ever, we need your support.


Speaking as a relatively new Ewelme resident, I value the shop greatly and I call in almost every day for my newspaper and other necessities.   I also volunteer once a week and really enjoy my time in the shop.   The Quiz in aid of the Watercress Beds was a most enjoyable way to spend a January evening, but I was struck by how few of the faces, in the packed Village Hall, are to be seen in the Ewelme Village Store.   You may be interested to know that, every year, we support 4 students from the Business Enterprise scheme at Reading University. This year they have decided to focus their report on how to increase local footfall through the store. Please do make use of our valuable community amenity.


We are able to sell some items cheaper than the equivalent in either Tesco or Sainsbury’s (for instance, we sell coconut milk for £1.75, which is 10p cheaper than Sainsbury’s, many chocolate bars and gift tins and our paracetamol and ibuprofen are also competitively priced).   We have a range of unusual items – local cheeses, beers and wines; oats, muesli and healthy snacks from Oxford Whole Foods.   We have very good chocolates and other gifts for Mothering Sunday and Easter, and a new range of cards from Alex Clarke:  and, of course, we have delicious filled rolls (the bacon ones are particularly popular), homemade cakes and filter coffee, plus most grocery items and newspapers. We have been told repeatedly that our toasted tea cakes are the best people have ever tasted.


Sandwiches:  would anyone be able to give an hour a week to make sandwiches for a regular buffet order? The shop is a good place to work.


Annual General Meeting:  our AGM is in May, when committee members either stand down or put their names forward for re-election.   New members may be proposed, and forms will be available in the shop in due course.   Does this interest you? We welcome new blood and the only commitment is to attend a monthly committee meeting.


We look forward to seeing you in the shop soon.


Sally Fehr, for Ewelme Village Store




Latest Store News

Happy New Year!


Returning to normal life is hard after the Christmas and New Year break.   The weather remains cold and it would be nice to escape to warmer climes;  but for most of us, things go on in their usual way and, whilst looking forward to the Spring, we think of bracing walks or keeping cosy by a log fire.   We have kindling (£4.99 a bag) and firelighters to help with your fireside evenings.


The shop had a successful Christmas Open Evening and our customers appreciated all the unusual gift and food items we had to offer, many of them quite new to us.   Our sales of these continued right up to Christmas Eve.


We sold over 150 of our calendars.   Thank you to everyone who bought one of these:  it has been a very successful enterprise, which we shall repeat later this year.


Please continue to support the shop during the remaining winter months.   It is often quiet after Christmas and we do so value your custom.   We shall soon have deliveries of new ‘Cook’ food and of greetings cards – come and browse or just visit for our very good filter coffee and, perhaps, a piece of delicious home-made cake.


We said ‘goodbye’ to Nicki Climpson just before Christmas.   Nicki has been one of our very efficient week-end managers and we wish her well on her return to veterinary nursing.


Would anyone have an hour or so to spare on a Thursday morning?  We need some help to prepare sandwiches for a regular buffet lunch order.   Please contact the shop on 01491 834467 or email manager@ewelmevillagestore.co.uk if you are able to assist us.


Sally Fehr, for Ewelme Village Store.

Ready for Christmas, come and have a look …….

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Looking for a unique gift this Christmas?  The Ewelme Calendar 2015 is on sale now, featuring superb local photography.  Hurry and buy yours while stocks last!


Our Christmas stock is in the shop from today (Monday 10th November).  Get prepared and stock up for Christmas, come and see what we have.


Christmas Opening Times


Christmas Eve – 9am – 4pm


Christmas Day – Closed


Boxing Day – Closed


Saturday 27th December  - 9am – 5pm


Sunday 28th December – 9am – 1pm


Monday 29th December – 9am – 1pm


Tuesday 30th December – 9am – 1pm


Wednesday 31st December – 9am – 1pm


New Years Day – Closed


Friday 2nd January – back to normal opening times