28 Apr 2012

Whiteshill & Ruscombe Village Shop: best year ever!

Village Shop and Coffee Shop
What a great Village Shop we have - as I've said many a time it's cafe has the best view in the county - last year was the most successful year for the shop since opening fourteen years ago! Well done and huge thanks to the team of volunteers. The Chair has kindly let me put the annual report on this blog - you can read that report by click 'read more'.


2011 was the most successful year for the shop since opening fourteen years ago.  Sales in the Shop and the Coffee Bar were up, despite the economic downturn, and with no significant downfalls of snow.  Although there were no major outgoings this year, repairs are always ongoing, and we are grateful to customers who have been generously contributing to shop repairs in a collecting box on the front counter.

The annual stock take took place.

Chris Lowcher from the Gloucestershire Rural Community Council and the Plunket Organization, who help Gloucestershire Community Shops, invited the shop to send two representatives to a social event for community shops to get together to exchange ideas. Mary Dunford and Mary Watkins travelled by coach to Brockweir in the forest and after being provided with lunch at Gloucester, went to Blockley, near Broadway. Brockweir had a paid manager and a part time paid assistant Manager.  It also had a conference suite which they hire out. Brockley had only paid staff. It was a very interesting day. We both felt that neither shop was as friendly as Whiteshill, our prices are much cheaper, and that we have a much larger range of goods on offer.   

The Co-op continues to provide the shop an account to obtain 10 per cent discount.  providing we spent on average £70 a week over the year.  We use Bookers and Batleys Wholesalers.  Goods that we are unable to sell a whole box of within the sell by time frame, are purchased in smaller amounts from local supermarkets and specialist shops with careful attention to prices.

Diana celebrated a special birthday and was given a surprise cake, flowers and good wishes by shop members.

Vanessa Price from the Parish Council entered the shop in the Vibrant Villages Competition. We were chosen as runner up for the Best Community Facility and were presented with a certificate and a cheque for £100.

Mary Dunford sourced new industrial quality matting for the shop.

The Parish Council also gave us a donation which we used to buy material from which Astrid made new curtains and tablecloths for the Coffee Shop.  They have been much admired.

Joyce Ballinger held her successful raffles, which she funds mainly from Necter Points, and as usual we thank Edward for using his persuasive skills to sell a large number of tickets. Mary Watkins again arranged a Christmas Meal for shop helpers at the Old Nelson.  Everyone agreed it was a very enjoyable evening.

Thanks to Mary Watkins for her tireless fundraising from she continues to make generous donations to shop funds, including the Pancake Day Event, Plant Sale,   and Xmas Fare.  This year there was also delicious homemade pumpkin soup for the very successful Pumpkin Trail, and cream teas for the Royal Wedding Party.

Mary had previously purchased a smart wooden table and chairs for year round use outside the shop, and inside if needed, and they are very useful especially on these occasions.

Thanks also to all her hardworking helpers.  The shop also greatly benefits from increased shop and Coffee Shop takings at these events. Mary also continues to ensure the smooth running of the shop volunteer rota, a very demanding task.

 The Committee would like to welcome Jenny, Karen, Lisa, Nikki Asworth, Robin and Kim, our new volunteers, and also thank all the shop volunteers, some of whom have been with us from the beginning, and also those who collect the newspapers, help with shopping,  and anyone else who has helped the shop in any way

The Committee would also like to give special thanks to Derek Larner who has done the shops accounts from the very beginning and has now decided to retire.  He was also one of the original band of helpers who put in a lot of time and effort to set up the shop.

We would like to thank Jonathon Bell for his help with the changeover, and Claire Deacon who has generously agreed to take over the shop accounts.

Special thanks go especially to Mr John Kerry who has now made and sold two DVDs of Whiteshill and Ruscombe and has donated the proceeds to shop funds.  The DVDs are extremely professional with interviews, background music and commentary by Mr Kerry and they have been an outstanding success.

Lastly we would like to thank all our customers for their continuing support.

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