A new village shop in Norfolk has opened in partnership with Nisa Retail which will serve a community that had no access to groceries and everyday supplies.
The Walled Garden Store in Little Plumstead has a café and a range of locally dourced goods goods across all categories including a Co-op own-brand products for customers to choose from.
Joining Nisa as a business to business account with an independent fascia, the store is housed in a property acquired as part of an agreement between the local authority and a housing developer who gifted a Victorian walled garden originally part of an old hospital.
Almost £250,000 was raised by villagers to fund the project after their former convenience store closed in 2016, leaving local people with no provisions.
The committee also received support from the Plunkett Foundation which helps rural communities facing difficult times when village stores are forced to close.
Together they have organised the construction of a modular building, decorated the interior, restored part of the land and employed a manager and two supervisors to be supported by volunteers in running the store.
Retail director Bronwen Barnes who is the only member with experience in grocery as the retired head of personnel at Roy’s of Wroxham, said the project was no mean feat.
“I knew from my time at Roy’s that Nisa would be able to give us the support that we needed as a new business in these difficult times and our ambitions to open a café and an instore Post Office,” she said.
“I think we are going to be lots of things to lots of people and I think, because the shop is the result of local people coming together for their community, people will be loyal and make use of the facility.”