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Lavenham: Co-op set to unveil first village store concept

14:10 04 April 2014

Donny Briggs

Donny Briggs

Archant

A Grade II -isted property which has been given a £670,000 facelift is due to open next week as the East of England Co-operative’s first ‘village store’.

The former Hogg @ Home shop, in High Street, Lavenham has been completely refitted and will reopen as a mini supermarket next Friday.

There were some concerns from the parish council that the shop was not in a suitable location for a ‘high volume, low margin’ business and that it could lead to an increase in traffic in the village centre.

But Suffolk County Council highways officers did not believe that the traffic would cause a problem.

There has also been a Co-operative Group food store in Lavenham for the past decade and some local people believed a second supermarket was not needed.

However, the new store will have a different offering with an emphasis on local products.

Items stocked sourced from more than 40 Suffolk suppliers, will range from jams and chutneys to bread, cakes and wine. Luke Crawley, who will manage the Lavenham store, has also lived in the area for more than 16 years.

He said: “The village store in Lavenham is an entirely new and exciting concept, combining wines, fine food and local produce.

“Going forward, we plan to tailor our stock to meet the needs of the local area.”

Suffolk chocolatiers, Hadleigh Maid, have also produced a bespoke Lavenham Village Store Chocolate Bar, which was packed this week ready for delivery to the shop.

Donny Briggs, of Hadleigh Maid, said: “We are really pleased to have been asked to produce a chocolate bar especially for the new shop, which is just 10 miles up the road from our factory in Hadleigh.”

The first 100 visitors to the store next Friday will receive a complimentary bar of the chocolate.

For a week after it opens, some of the local suppliers will hold product tastings in the store to give customers a chance to sample their wares.

The store will be officially opened at 11am on April 11 by Mr Crawley and Society President, John Pendle.

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