Excitement as village shop opens for business

PUBLISHED: 14:27 03 December 2014 | UPDATED: 14:27 03 December 2014

Three year old Jessica Packer helps out her grandparents with the shopping at the Otterton Community Shop this week. Ref exb 1885-49-14. Picture: Simon Horn.

Three year old Jessica Packer helps out her grandparents with the shopping at the Otterton Community Shop this week. Ref exb 1885-49-14. Picture: Simon Horn.

Archant

The tills are finally ringing in Otterton after the village's long- awaited community shop opened its doors.

The shop, based in a specially renovated room at the village hall, enjoyed its first day of trading on Monday.

It offers a wide selection of essentials to villagers, marking the end of a three-year campaign.

Asked for her reaction as the shop finally opened, committee chairman Viv Price said: “I think relieved is the word. Obviously, we are very excited and hope that the village will now take this on as their own.

“Many people have come in and said ‘goodness – we didn’t think this would be what it was like’. I think they’re amazed how bright and welcoming it is.

“It’s very much work in progress. We have got a lot to do.

“We have got enough stock in and we have got a lot of local foods – local milk suppliers, bread suppliers, vegetables, meat, cheese, and we’re using people like the wine merchant in Budleigh.

“We’re already indebted to Valerie Pride, who is our manager, and has put in so many hours over the last three weeks.”

Among the goods for sale in the shop are dairy items, fresh meat, fruit and vegetables, frozen food, beer, wine and spirits, daily fresh bread, and sandwiches to order.

There is also a coffee machine, with a facility in the shop for visitors to sit down and enjoy a brew and a chat.

The shop had originally hoped to open in a revamped St Michael’s Church, but switched its focus to the village hall after that scheme was delayed.

It has received financial support from a host of organisations, including nearly £10,000 from the Big Lottery Fund, and mentoring from East Budleigh Community Shop.

The Otterton shop now has 101 shareholders, and is set to open between 7.30am and 6.30pm Monday to Friday, 8am to 4pm on Saturdays, and 8.30am to noon on Sundays.

This is dependent on volunteers, and Viv says more are always needed.

If you might be interested in volunteering, call the shop on 01395 708324, or email otterton
communityshop@gmail.com.

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