Spring is here, the sun is out (well, sometimes), the sap is rising and Parracombe’s very own community shop and café is poised to make its long-awaited debut.
It is hard to believe that we started construction work a year ago. The pandemic and related problems obtaining building materials have been major challenges we weren’t expecting. But we’ve kept our eyes on the prize and the Pavilion Stores and Café is now almost ready to serve our fantastic local community.
Over the past few weeks enthusiastic volunteers have been painting the interior, making shop cabinets and shelving, and fitting timber serving counters which came from a Lynton tree and look truly amazing. Then there’s been the sanding and painting of café chairs (kindly donated by the Fox & Goose), the sourcing of suppliers and the purchase of all the equipment and technology necessary to hit the ground running.
We’re hoping to be open within the next month and we’ll be updating you regularly as we approach the big day. One of our key aims will be to use local wholesale suppliers providing predominantly west country produce. It’s important to be clear that, while the quality of this produce is crucial, we’re also determined to be competitive on price. As the looming cost-of-living crisis hits, we want to be on our customers’ side every step of the way.
Our brilliant builder Paul Smyth and his team have done a superb job in creating a building with true character, one we think will make shopping or a visit to the café a real pleasure. Final exterior touches such as the render are all but finished, the new terrace area is being paved, the landscaping is done and the car park has been graded and tarmacked Any day now, once security fencing is taken away, the new-look car park will be ready for use.
Good service is vital to any retail business and we’ve started training our team of shop volunteers. Part of this process includes the principles of food hygiene and familiarisation with our Electronic Point of Sale or EPOS system (that’s a till to you and me) which is about to be installed. If you haven’t yet volunteered there’s still time; you can take shifts to suit you and rotas will be as flexible as possible. You can register as a shop volunteer by filling in the forms attached here and returning them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org . And of course you can use the same email address if you have any questions.
That’s it for now but look out for more exciting updates soon including an announcement on the appointment of our full-time joint managers, both of whom, we know, will provide a great service. Then all our planning and hard work will focus on the most important asset of all – you, our customers.
Thanks in anticipation of your support
Chair, Pavilion Community Stores and Café management team.