A thriving village shop and café in Frittenden, owned and run by the community, providing basic shopping needs and locally sourced produce as well as being a place to meet and enjoy a sense of belonging.
When Acorn Stores closed in spring 2019 we were all saddened by the loss of the shop that Eileen had run so successfully for many years. It was more than a shop, it was also a social hub for the village.
With the closure of Acorn Stores the idea for a Frittenden Community Shop and Café was launched. A village shop run for the community by the community, within the framework of a Community Benefit Society.
Sean and Rosie’s pop-up shop, Stable Stores, has been very well supported and has shown how important a village shop can be to our community. However, it is not their intention to run the shop indefinitely and they would like the Stables to be available again for other events, eg the annual beer festival. The plan is to run the shop in the Stables until 2021.
Although much can change before this, the timing fits with our plan to open the new Community Shop and Café in 2021. We have agreed with Sean and Rosie that there will be a managed transition from Stable Stores to Frittenden Community Stores at a mutually agreed time. We are delighted that Rosie has agreed to join the shop committee and will be bringing her invaluable experience to the project.
Our vision is to have a community store and café in the village that will provide a social hub for all Frittenden residents, for those who work in our village and who contribute to our community.
Our aim is to provide basic shopping needs for local householders and stock a range of foodstuffs to include local produce from our village farmers/artisan food makers. In addition, to provide a café with tea/coffee and light snacks during the day.
Our objectives are to enable Frittenden residents to have a place to meet where they feel they have a ‘sense of ownership’ and a ‘sense of belonging’. This will help reduce social isolation of the elderly and other households by providing a social hub to visit.
The venture would also enable members of the community, old or young to volunteer in the shop/café, acquire new skills, tackle mental health issues and encourage community cohesion. All so important as we tackle the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on our rural community.