Hard work pays off for Avebury villagers

Staff and customers at Avebury Community Shop celebrated its first birthday in traditional style on Monday with a party in the shop.

Villagers packed into the small shop in the High Street to celebrate with a birthday cake and a drink or two.

Michelle Lomas, chairman of the steering group that oversees the venture, said: “We are pleased because business has been better than we expected.

“It was really hard to anticipate what to expect in terms of business but we are really pleased and we know the customers are happy.”

Shop manager Wendy Gallop, one of only two paid staff who work with about 40 volunteers who do three-hour shifts, said: “Despite the weather, the shop has had a very healthy winter and the villagers seem to really appreciate having a shop again.”
Jenny Bromilow, who co-ordinates the volunteers, said: “We are very pleased with the way it has worked out.”

Mrs Gallop said part of the reason for the shop’s success was listening to what the villagers wanted to see on the shelves and, where possible, finding local suppliers.

The only item she had been unable to source from wholesalers, she said, was lip-salve, which she had to buy from Boots.

Villagers spent a year planning the reopening of the former village post office and stores, which closed following the retirement of Dick and Gilda Stannard.

They were helped by the National Trust giving rent-free use of the building.

Gazette and Herald News

Avebury Community shop