Community comes together to reopen 300-year-old village shop

The shop in Coddneham which has reopened after five months of closure. Picture: ELAINE THOMAS

The shop in Coddneham which has reopened after five months of closure. Picture: ELAINE THOMAS - Credit: Archant

A 300-year-old community shop in a small Suffolk village has reopened thanks to effort of a group hard working villagers

Five months after closing, the village shop in Coddenham has open its doors again, all thanks to a community group which decided to take actions into its own hand when it closed its doors in May.

The shop, which has been in the same location for over three centuries, had been run by the same family for 100 years until its closure earlier this year.

Such was the feeling of loss amongst the villagers, with over a third of people wanting community shop accordign to a survey, that they formed a group and over the past five months raised over £40,000 so that the shop can be up and running again.

Elaine Thomas said: "Coddenham Shop has opened again for business.

"Over £40,000 has been raised, thanks to the huge generosity of local residents, through both share purchase and donations.

"Bliss Marshall, a local resident herself has been appointed shop manager and around 50 or so individuals have offered to help in a variety of ways, either as committee members, shop workers, bakers of cakes or helping to re-fit, renovate and re-decorate the shop premises.

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"Everyone, from the committee members to the 'handymen' have worked really hard, especially over the last few weeks to get to this really exciting day."

The shop boasts a small seating area for those who wish grab a mug fresh coffee or munch on home baked cakes and there is a clean, bright shop selling local produce and a range of other basic foods and goods to suit a range of tastes and pockets.

Take-away hot drinks and sandwiches are also available and of course a very much missed Post Office.

Mrs Thomas added: "Once all the volunteers feel happy and able to work the 'all singing all dancing' till, we will be arranging a Grand Opening to showcase this fantastic achievement.

"In the meantime, we would just like as many people as possible to pop into the shop for a chat, a coffee and of course to buy our wonderful produce.

"We would also like to give a huge thank-you to everyone who has offered their support in some way or another over the last few months, without which this wouldn't be possible".

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