The villages of Seavington St Mary and Seavington St Michael in South Somerset

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Looking forward in 2017.

I am pleased to report that the increase in cafe trade since May 2016 is covering the newly appointed assistant cook’s wages nicely. Meanwhile there is also a very pleasing upsurge in trading in the shop both of which can only lead to a good set of results when they are reported at the AGM. What else is happening at the store? Well one service we offer (aside from grocery provision in the village often of locally sourced goods) is cashback. This is limited to £20 at present as we do not keep a large float in the till for security reasons.

We can also now accept your post. ie we have arranged for customers goods to be recieved at the shop and held until you get back from work. All you need to do is check with your delivery service that this is OK and let the volunteer know a parcel is arriving (call on 249730). This service has been further enhanced to allow you to send and receive parcels from the shop using MyHermes (see www.myhermes.co.uk for their very competitively priced details) or pick up a leaflet in the shop. Parcels are picked up every day and with ample close by parking this service is proving quite popular with many and a good money earner for the shop.

Our cafe is now regularly staffed by Jane or Donna as well as by volunteers. This has reduced wait times and brought a degree of consistency to the food we prepare which in turn has made the café a popular stop off for many non villagers. This has seen an increase in income not just in the cafe but in the shop too. We have been able to calculate that this increase in takings in the shop from non villager café users is over £13k per annum.

We also provide printing, laminating and photocopying services with a wine glass hire facility too. There is a thriving book exchange facility with over 200 books with stock regularly changed. Art and craft work is regularly displayed giving local artists the opportunity to display and sell their wares. Both these art and the craft displays change regularly. This is popular both with customers and the artists themselves as it supports many of Somerset’s small art and craft businesses (in 2016 over 20 local artists made use of this service). There is an internet PC and free wifi throughout the store.

We run a grocery delivery service within the village. You can now phone in to order goods at any time during the week. These goods will be bagged up and delivered once a week (Tuesday afternoons) free of charge within the village. In order to keep costs down, goods will need to be paid for by cheque and the delivery teams will call before setting out to advise of the cost of your order.

But it is not just groceries the shop stocks. On sale are a variety of goods with the shop logo, a whole range of stationary (much aimed at our younger audience), Classic canes, a good selection of cards including ranges from at least 10 local artists, toys, fast food and a whole raft of other goods.

Seniors lunches have been held every month and are proving to be very popular, both with with our residents and people from outside the village. Don’t forget to sign up for the next one. If demand is too great then we may have to provide the service twice a month. Remember they are held at 1230 on the second Monday of each month. In addition we provide a bi-monthly supper club, details of which are adbertised in the shop & cafe.

There is now a sign to mark the location of the Village Hall, Shop, Cafe and Playing field. This was funded by the Parish Council.

As you may know, most of the staff are volunteers from the village making it a truly community shop. Without these volunteers the shop and café would not be able to survive and would become one of the 9 village shops which close each week. Each volunteer takes a turn at a 3 or 4 & ½ hour shift each week. The work is not too onerous, even I can manage preparing the simple fare we offer. With several departures from the village over the last year we need one or two more volunteers in both the café and the shop. If you are able to offer up a few hours then please contact the duty shop/café volunteer to discuss what you are able to do. This is a really fast way of getting to know your fellow villagers and what is happening in the village. If you prefer not to take on a regular weekly shift there is always a need for volunteers to fill in for holidays/leave on an ad hoc basis. We will give you training in whatever aspect takes your fancy.

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