In January 2015, as part of our planning we developed a Memorandum of Association which outlined our aims, objectives, values and vision.
Our vision is to continue to have a shop in Hallbankgate that provides local residents with an attractive, friendly place that meets most, if not all of their shopping needs. We want to ensure that the shop is viable and has a secure and certain future.
It should be owned and controlled by the community in whichever way that is set up, for example a Community Benefit Society where any profits made will be ploughed back into the shop or into community projects. Whichever model of ownership is used we want the running of the shop to be open and transparent with a strong organisational team who are receptive to new ideas and offers of help.
As well as being a place to buy food we foresee the premises being used as a hub for other services and a place to meet. Services may include a post office, library link and a small tea shop. Other suggestions are dry cleaning, parcel drop off, prescription collection point and displays of local crafts and artists. These services will develop over time and respond to the needs and suggestions of the community.
We want our shop to provide a high standard of service and be a beacon of excellence. In this way we hope that we can draw custom from many of the surrounding villages and be a true competitor to the large supermarkets and their online delivery services. We hope that when people experience the personal and responsive service from our shop, they will change their shopping habits. In this way we hope that the shop will grow and expand.
We want members of the community to be involved in the day-to-day running of the shop and so create a sense of ownership and a high level of commitment and determination that it will succeed. We can be innovative in what we supply. Operating within environmental health legislation, we could sell home baking, bread and preserves made by members of the community.
We want to be able to provide local employment with the initial recruitment of a paid manager. As the shop expands and becomes successful, future employment opportunities may arise.
We want the shop to have strong links to other organisations within the community such as the pub and school. We can see possibilities for projects and community events that bring these institutions together.
We are now there! (nearly)
The shop and café have been open since 12th of December 2016 in the front half of the building (we call it Phase 1). We’ve had plenty of visitors since then and the numbers keep growing as local residents and passers by rediscover this community resource and appreciate what we have to offer.
The work on the back half of the premises (Phase 2) is in full swing and we expect to ‘move in’ some time this spring (2017). We are looking forward to expanding our coffee shop, both its foot print and its menu, adding library link and exhibition area for local arts & crafts. An enclosed consultation room will also be available for use by community outreach businesses.