Green Valley Grocer wins the Kirklees Mayor Local Food Retailer Award
Green Valley Grocer wins the Kirklees Mayor Award for Local Food Retailer 2010
The Green Valley Grocer, Slaithwaite, Colne Valley has been a striking success story, bringing the heart back to a local community, increasing trade and securing local facilities. And now, the venture has got the recognition it deserved when The Green Valley Grocer won the Kirklees Mayor’s first Local Foods Award in the Local Food Retailer category.
How did it all start?
In March 2009, it became apparent that the local greengrocers in Slaithwaite, Colne Valley was going to close. Individuals started to discuss what this closure would mean for the village – they were not happy to lose the local shop. But what could they do?
So, in April a public meeting was held to gauge support for the idea of setting up a community owned shop funded by a Community Share Issue. Over 50 local people turned up and there was lots of enthusiasm for the idea. £17,000 raised from the community in 3 weeks and so the decision was made to go ahead with taking on the lease for the shop and the employment of Carol the existing shop worker.
The shop opened in June 2009 and stocked with a combination of conventionally sourced produce from market, wholefoods from Suma, fresh fish, cheese and a wide range of seasonal produce grown and brought in by local people.
The Handmade Bakery, a fledgling artisan bakers, were using the space at the back of the shop. Once they began production they attracted further custom into the shop with their specially designed display of bread. The shop offer also expanded to include organic produce from Fenella’s Garden.
Since then the shop turnover has steadily increased. Extra staff taken on – now up to 4 full time staff, providing additional employment opportunities in the village. Turnover of other local businesses also increasing as more people chose to shop local. The volunteer members of the Board settled into the day to day management – employment issues, publicity and marketing, finance, bookeeping etc.
Suma would like to congratulate Green Valley Grocer and wish them all the best for the future.
If you want help or advice about setting up a community owned shop please contact Suma who will be able to put you in touch with people who can offer practical help and advice.