Official opening of community stores

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John Bercow MP cut the ribbon at the official opening of Twyford Village Stores’ new premises on Saturday.

In his speech, Mr Bercow thanked the many volunteers for their hard work in running the community shop and also the villagers for their continued use of the business.

Originally set up in the old village shop in 2007, when the existing shop stopped trading, the volunteer-run store had to vacate those premises in 2010.

Courtesy of local landowners Stephen and Gretta Hodges, it was able to continue to trade from portable buildings on land adjacent to the village hall, while planning consent was sought for a more permanent development.

Mr and Mrs Hodges offered to build new premises for the shop and this was finally completed at the end of 2013.

In order to fit out the interior, the Twyford Village Stores Associatio was fortunate to receive grants totalling about £65,000 from bodies including the Plunkett Foundation, the Big Lottery Fund, LEADER, Aylesbury Vale Community Chest, the Vital Villages Fund and the Local Area Forum.s

The grants enabled the store to be fitted out with chillers and freezers, shelving, air conditioning, a full, commercial kitchen and many other essentials.

The recent addition of a coffee shop has provided a warm, friendly place for residents to stop and chat.

In March, three residents formed the Grumpy Bakers, taking over the baking and supply of fresh artisan bread and other bakery goods to the shop.

The fresh, home-made bread has become a great attraction and has increased trade.