Volunteers celebrate village shop's 10th birthday
SCORES turned out despite the rain to take part in the celebrations for the 10th anniversary of Coaley’s only shop.
Amid the gloomy weather on Friday, September 13, there were bright smiles and enthusiastic chatter from the band of willing volunteers as well as numerous visitors who came to enjoy the barbecue and beer available as well as a performance from morris dancers.
The store has proven to be essential part of the village and chairman of the committee running the business, Martin Gregg, said the store had achieved a turnover of £70,000 last year.
"I am not surprised it has lasted 10 years, it is such an important part of the community," he said.
"It provides so many services for the community, particularly during bad weather. During the hard winter we had noticed many more people visited the shop."
Mr Gregg said they were always endeavouring to improve and were considering a rebrand of the business, as well as looking into the idea of moving into a purpose-built extension to the village hall, with improved café facilities.
"We’re very much looking forward to the next ten years," he said.
"Turnover has been higher in previous years and part of this celebration is trying to regenerate the shop and hopefully get more people involved, were always after more volunteers."
The special guest for the event was Labour parliamentary candidate for Stroud, David Drew, who officially opened the store 10 years ago.
"It's great to see it doing so well. It is interesting that with all these volunteer shops setting up in the district and flourishing and not one of them has closed," he said.
"It shows that communities, when they pull together, can keep the facilities going which is vital for village life.
"It’s great to see community action making the difference but it is hard work. If it wasn’t for these dedicated volunteers the shop would not be open, that’s who we should tip our hats to."
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