Villagers’ own shop is new alternative to supermarket

SPROUGHTON: We’re not afraid of you!

That’s the message from a determined group of villagers who are taking on three supermarket giants by opening their own shop.

Fed-up residents in Sproughton have made the bold move despite their village being within easy reach of a Morrisons, Tesco and Sainsbury’s store.

The group claim villagers want to shop closer to home and buy local products.

The shop, based next door to the village’s historic Tithe Barn, will open for trading tomorrow.

Rosalind Lavington, the vice chairman of Sproughton Parish Council, said: “We’ve been campaigning for this for three years. The lack of services in Sproughton is unacceptable.

“We’re a Cinderella village with enormous supermarkets less than a couple of miles away but our carriage – the number 111 bus – only comes every two hours.

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“The fact we’re competing with three supermarkets doesn’t phase us. We know what products they don’t stock and that’s what we’re going to sell.”

Ms Lavington, 64, is one of four villagers who formed a Community Interest Company (CIC) to run the shop with the aid of volunteers as a not-for-profit venture.

The shop has been set up at a cost of �18,000 and was funded through grants from Suffolk County Council.

It will stock a wide range of local products including fresh bread and milk, sweet cured bacon, salami, eggs and fruit and vegetables.

Ms Lavington added: “It’s going to be a steep learning curve but we’re up to the challenge.

“We’re catering for people who can’t always travel to the nearest supermarket or those that haven’t time on their hands.

“The shop is focused on selling good quality local products which you won’t find on supermarket shelves.

“It will cut down on people’s carbon footprints and hopefully become a village focal point for years to come.”

The shop will be open from 7.45am – 1pm on weekdays, from 9.30am to 12.30pm on Saturdays and from 10am to 1pm on Sundays.

n Do you think the community shop will succeed? Write to Your Letters, The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@evening star.co.uk

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