Out with the old

PO OpeningIt was 24th November 2010 when we began our new venture running the village shop. The first few weeks were a hard slog as neither Shana nor myself had any experience in retail. Four weeks into our new venture came the snow, and we could not keep up with the demand for bread and milk. At this point we were wondering if we had done the right thing, but looking back we smile now as we have learnt a lot and, with our customers’ support, got to the next stage.
The aim was to turn the tired, dated old shop into a large, bright shop with lots of new lines, with a larger range of wines, beers and grocery items; the biggest change was to add a Deli counter. The shop closed on 4th February this year and we moved into the temporary accommodation. This portakabin was to be our new shop for the next 5 weeks, as the interior of the shop was turned into a building site, walls were knocked down and 2 extremely large steel joists were put in. As the weeks progressed we again asked ourselves “Have we done the right thing?”
The week before we re-opened on the 17th March came the final push. We had sourced fresh meat from Long Compton Butchers, fresh fruit from AMC and all the deli supplies from Wychwood Fine Foods so, with their help, we had put together a large range of local produce. Deliveries started coming every day, and the task of stocking all the shelves began. All the new products had to be entered on the computer system and, on the 16th March with help from family and friends, we were ready.
17th March arrived; the shop opened at 7 a.m. with the smell of bacon and sausage cooking in the Deli, all the shelves filled and Shana and I ready for what the day would bring. Six weeks on and we have sorted out all the little glitches and things are starting to get back to normal.
We would not have got to this stage without the support of family, friends Brent Barnes Builders and Jordan Shop fitters. Come and see the difference!

Jacqui James

June – July 2017