Poppy’s Pantry at Melton re-opens after refurbishment

New Poppy's Pantry opens in Woodbridge

New Poppy's Pantry opens in Woodbridge - Credit: Archant

Deputy mayor of Woodbridge, Councillor Lady Caroline Blois, cut a ribbon to officially open a new look Poppy’s Pantry at The Sidings in Wilford Bridge Road, Melton.

Social enterprise Realise Futures – which runs six social businesses in Suffolk – has refurbished its wholefood and eco products shop in Melton to offer a more diverse selection of goods, including gluten-free and dairy-free products.

And now it has been re-opened by the deputy mayor of Woodbridge, councillor Lady Caroline Blois, who cut the ribbon.

Poppy’s Pantry is run by enterprise managers Vicky Norris and Lisa Mann. Vicky said: “We have been based here for seven years and we sell a range of health and wholefood products as well as eco-friendly household items.

“Refurbishment has meant we have been able to relocate into the next door unit and give the whole shop a lovely new farm shop look, which we are sure current and new customers will love,” she said.

“Relocating our shop has given us a more resourceful space to offer work-based opportunities for adults with disabilities in both the retail and fulfilment environment.”

“We’re delighted the deputy mayor is here with us today to help us celebrate the re-opening and to wish us well for the future,” she added.

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Eight members of staff work at the shop and they are also involved in work for Realise Futures Fulfilment which packages and dispatches items for local businesses.

Staff also support enterprise team members to pick, pack and dispatch Poppy’s Pantry snack boxes which go out to businesses as a healthy alternative to vending machine chocolate and crisps.

As a social enterprise, Realise Futures runs its business with a social mission to help people who are disabled and disadvantaged with careers advice, learning and development and employment opportunities.

Research carried out earlier this year by Anglia Ruskin University found that for every £1 invested in four of Realise Future’s social enterprise businesses, £2.51 of social value will be created for service users, their parents and carers, Suffolk County Council, Shaw Trust, the state and society.

Lady Caroline said: “I am very pleased to officially re-open Poppy’s Pantry and I wish it every success for the future. I hope the publicity given to today’s opening will be seen by many more people who were not aware of Poppy’s Pantry and its produce, and it will bring in a lot of new customers as well as informing the people who are regular customers here.”

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