THE HIGH STREET, STEEPLE ASHTON, BA14 6EU
Telephone (01380) 871211
Normal Opening Hours:
Monday – Friday 7:30am to 5:30pm
Saturday – 8:30am – 4:30pm
Sunday – 9:00am- 12:00noon.
OPENING HOURS FOR CHRISTMAS AND THE NEW YEAR
23rd December 9.00 am– 12 am
24th December Christmas Eve 7.30 am – 2.30 pm
25th Christmas Day and 26th Boxing Day CLOSED
27th – 30th December Normal Opening Hours
31st New Year’s Eve 7.30 am – 4.30 pm
1st January 2018 New Year’s Day CLOSED
Inevitably, this month it is all about the build-up to Christmas. If you are already bored with the tinselly Christmas tunes being played in the shops in town, come down to us for a gentle browse – you might be surprised to see just what we have in stock! We have the cards, we have the gifts, and much, much more!
DO YOU LOVE CHEESE? – We now have the round Barbers Mature Black Wax Cheddar from Maryland Farm in Somerset back instock. Barbers started making cheese six generations ago and are now the world’s oldest surviving cheddar-makers, making award-winning traditional cheddar from locally sourced milk, using the country’s last remaining cheese starter cultures, the ‘friendly’ bacteria that start the cheesemaking process and contribute to the final texture, aroma, and taste.
In addition, we have a smaller Black Wax Cheddar Cheese from Ford Farm, described in their advertising as ‘award winning Cheddar Truckle, a delicious, mature variety with a range of delicious yet contrasting flavours from sweet and creamy to tangy and nutty’ . It is aged in the caves of Wookey Hole for flavour and a moist texture and encased in black wax to preserve freshness. If blue cheese is more to your taste, try the Long Clawson Dairy Potted Blue Stilton. With plenty of blue veining this Stilton has a softand mottled appearance. It is creamy, tangy and slightly earthy in flavour, and although it can be slightly crumbly it has a smooth, buttery texture – you will love it!
NEW CHERRY TREE CHRISTMAS PICKLE WITH MEAD – Sounds delicious, as does the other new flavour, Fig and Apricot. TheBlackberry and Liquorice Jam and Plum with Mulled Wine Jam, new last month, are both proving popular – have you tried them yet?
LOYALTY CARDS – These are applicable to purchases made at any one visit (excluding certain items, such as cigarettes, newspapers, and postage stamps). Customers spending £5 per visit can get their card stamped, and with ten stamps they will qualify for a £5 voucher to be spent in the shop. Vouchers for the shop make good Christmas presents and we will give you a gift card free of charge.
A FREE MINCE PIE – With every coffee or tea purchased after the 10th December we will give you a free mince pie – now isn’t that worth coming in for?
CHRISTMAS RAFFLE – With a wide range of prizes to be won, tickets will be on sale in December.
AND LASTLY – But not least, when you visit the Christmas Tree Festival in St. Mary’s Church this year, look out for our themed tree – see if you can guess the theme! A very Merry Christmas and a peaceful New Year to you all, and a big THANK YOU to those of you who have supported your local village shop in 2018!
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF THE STEEPLE ASHTON VILLAGE SHOP took place on 11th May in Steeple Ashton Village Hall and was well received by all who attended.
Summary of Chairman’s Report:
This is the final year of the Government Grant to support the setting up and running of the shop. Consequently the focus of the last twelve months has been to ensure that it operates with a balanced budget and we have approached this in four ways.
- Reducing our outgoings where possible. This included changing the card machine system and the insurance supplier.
- Promoting the shop more widely. A leaflet was produced (with thanks to all involved, in particular to Kathryn Sewell for her artistic and photographic input) which was distributed to all the B&B’s, holiday cottages, campsites and Tourist Information Centres in our local towns. We had a stall at the Southwick Country Fair and at Steeple Ashton Church Fete and a pop-up shop on Keevil Airfield during the Inter-Forces Gliding Competition. These events have involved planning and organising and additional shifts for our much appreciated volunteers.
- To encourage customer spending we introduced a Coffee Shop Loyalty Scheme which ran between May and October. In November we started a Shop Loyalty Scheme which ran until the end of April. Both schemes were successful, with the latter showing that purchases worth at least £3750 had been made.
- To remain competitive with local supermarkets many products come to us pre-priced. To offset this we slightly increased our profit margin on other goods.
Continued support from many in the villages and an interest-free loan have enabled us to purchase two new chillers. We thank the two volunteers who donated a new mat for the entrance; a great improvement.
Steeple Ashton Parish Council now pays a small monthly fee to share our broadband and telephone, a benefit to both parties.
The efforts of the Building Management Committee to replace the stonework and repaint the iron railings at the front of the shop have been hugely appreciated. This Village Project was funded by the Buildings Management Committee, the Parish Council and The Melksham Area Board.
In conclusion, the Chair thanked all the Volunteers, especially those who commit to a regular shift, Julie the Manager for her enthusiastic approach to the various initiatives mentioned, and the Committee for their commitment and loyalty.
Her closing comments were ‘Together we have a responsibility to the village community and more than once I have felt we must be mad to take this on. However, I know it’s because we all value our community that we are willing to give time and energy to make it work. We look forward to the coming year and feel that the shop is in a good position to continue into the future‘.