Village shop run by volunteers to celebrate its tenth birthday

Metfield Stores is run by volunteers from the community and they are set to celebrate the shops 10th

Metfield Stores is run by volunteers from the community and they are set to celebrate the shops 10th anniversary tomorrow. PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

When the only shop in the village shut down, residents in Metfield took matters into their own hands by opening up a community store.

And 10 years later, it is still going strong.

Metfield Stores opened in The Street on April 30, 2006, and since that day about 130 volunteers have helped keep it running by pitching in to serve customers, order produce and stock the shelves.

Volunteer Tessa Harding has been with the shop since it began, and said: “The little village shop that was here was a bit run down and the elderly couple who ran it retired.

“So we thought ‘do we lose our shop or do we do something about it?”

The building was bought by former village resident Rachel Kellett, and completely renovated by volunteers with various fundraising activities and the sale of shares helping towards costs.

Jan Rusted is another volunteer who has helped out since the very beginning, originally receiving a small wage as store manager for a few hours a day, giving up the rest of her time for free.

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She said: “Everyone was keen to pitch in, we always had volunteers on. The first year was just brilliant really.”

Chairman Paul Smith, who began volunteering to help run the shop after moving to Metfield two years ago, said: “Helping is almost a requirement of moving to the village!

“I think goodwill and enthusiasm have helped it last for 10 years.

“And having a paid, part time manager has really helped. It’s a social centre as well and it’s important to keep the balance between being smart and up to date and being a traditional village store.

“We’ve got to keep our prices competitive otherwise people wouldn’t use us.”

The store stocks everyday and luxury food items, using local produce where possible, cards, alcohol, treats for special occasions and even has a mini library where people can exchange books. It is also well-known in the area for the Village Kitchen and Pie Company range which are baked on the premises.

Metfield Stores will be marking its tenth anniversary with a celebration tomorrow from 2.30pm to 4.30pm, where those who contributed to the shop’s success and its customers will be thanked.

The shop is also paying tribute to Ann Wolfe, one of its founder members, who died recently.