Ewelme Village Store News – 10th September 2014

We have enjoyed all our visitors over the summer months – cyclists, walkers and those holidaying in the area.   We have been promised a sunny Autumn, so we hope for a continuation of all these welcome visits to the shop.

 

Various innovations have been put in place in the shop, and these are enjoying success.   We are now promoting Recipe of the Month – a suggested menu using seasonal and available produce and ingredients from the shop.   Courgette Carbonara and Yellow Chicken Curry are two recent examples.

 

Calendar – Photo Competition.   We should like to thank all those who have submitted photos for inclusion in our first Christmas Calendar.   This will be on sale in the shop from mid-November and we hope this new venture will be really successful and provide many small but useful Christmas gifts.

 

Christmas Open Evening – Village Store and Pre-school. Join us for drinks and nibbles at our Christmas Open Evening, from 6pm on 28 November. Take the opportunity to buy your Christmas gifts in the shop or at the many craft stalls in the Village Hall.

 

Newspapers policy.   Unless newspapers are marked ‘Keep’ (and, therefore, paid for whether or not they are collected), they will be put out for sale at 11.30am to give others the chance to buy them, thereby reducing the numbers we return to the wholesaler.

 

Volunteers are always needed.   Many of our regular volunteers enjoy working in the shop so much that they cover several shifts!  We can always make space for, and would welcome newcomers. Working in the shop is fun, and a great way to meet people in the village.

 

Noticeboard in the Shop.   You may have seen the beautiful display on the noticeboard, advertising the Horticultural Show.   If you or your society would like to use this space to promote a village event or something of interest to the village, please book a slot with Angela Harrison, whose telephone number is 834111.

 

Posters.   We receive numerous requests to display posters in the shop, but we have very little wall or counter space to do this.   We do have a Local Information folder on the coffee table, and this contains much useful  regular information.   We are happy to display a small poster (A5 size) in one of the four window panes, if available.   We can also place a small poster on the counter during the week immediately prior to a ‘Ewelme only’ event – but too many of these can look very untidy.

 

Dry cleaning.   We regret that we are no longer able to provide this service.   The company who used to take this will no longer serve Ewelme.   We hope this will not be too inconvenient for our customers, and that they can find use an alternative service.

 

Fresh herbs.   By the time you receive this issue of the Ewelme Village News, we should be able to sell fresh herbs from the tubs outside the front of the shop, for which we ask for a donation.   Please ask staff to help, if this interests you.


ORCC Community shop of the year competition

Ewelme Village Store was awarded second place in the Community Shop category of the ORCC’s Oxfordshire Village Shop of the Year competition. The judge found the shop ‘‘welcoming and friendly, with a great range of products and a good shopping experience’’ and was particularly impressed with the Christmas display.

The award will be presented in the New Year and includes a cheque for £100 which will be used to improve the shop.


Displays

Our thanks to Ewelme Village School and the horticultural society for their recent displays in the shop. The Remembarance Sunday displays were really impressive.


Community involvement

The shop is also supported by a number of teenagers completing their Duke of Edinburgh service requirement. Joesph has been maintaining our website for the last year and Mary volunteers every Friday. In addition, our annual stocktake is facititated by a group of local 12 year olds who, in exchange for a bag of sweets, kindly give up their Sunday afternoon to help us count the groceries


Volunteering

 We are very fortunate to have a regular team of volunteers who provide cover for the shop throughout the week. However, we are always happy to welcome new volunteers to help with holiday cover and unforeseen absence. Please do let us know if you would like to be placed on the emergency cover list. We promise not to coerce you into taking on a regular slot!


Vegetable boxes

We now offer large and small vegetable boxes (£12.50 and £9.00 respectively), organically grown at Ashtree Farm in Benson. The boxes are available from June to December each year.

Ashtree Farm was set up about three years ago with the aim of producing fresh, local and seasonal fruit and vegetables, and has just completed the process of converting the three acre site to full organic status.  The farm is now fully certified as Organic with the Soil Association, which means that no artificial chemicals or fertilisers are used.

Large or small boxes are delivered to the shop for collection on a Friday. Please ask in the shop for details. We are happy to take one-off or regular orders. Just let us know!


Cook homemade frozen meals

The shop now stocks a large range of single portions of Cook, home-made frozen food products. This now includes thai green and red curries which have sold particularly well, chicken korma, chicken tikka massala and beef rogan. Prices per portion compare favourably with take away prices in Benson and curries can be microwaved or oven cooked from frozen. Express rice is also available.

If you would like to order larger portions or puddings, please ask in the shop.


Management of the shop

The new system of Daily Managers in the shop is working well. In addition to our weekend staff, we now have Debs Rushton, Sue Veitch and Tracy Fallon sharing the weekly management of the shop with responsibility for specific days. Each of them have responsibilities for specific product ranges in addition to opening and closing and general management. The system is working well and they have all asked me to pass on their thanks to the volunteers who have been so helpful. This system means that the shop has a management structure which ensures that there is always a member of staff in charge and adequate provision can be made for holiday cover.


ORCC Community Shop of the Year

In January 2010, following nominations from customers of the shop, we were delighted to be judged the winner of the Oxfordshire Rural Community Council (ORCC) community shop of the year. We were complimented on having a ‘bright, clean, fresh looking store’, which is well, but not over, stocked with a ‘good percentage of local produce’. The judge was impressed with our links with the local community – including the school children, elderly people in the Almshouses and the volunteers who were described as ‘friendly, informative and efficient’. Well done and thank you to everyone for your support.