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Monks Eleigh shop enjoys busiest day in years due to cold snap

Monks Eleigh's community village shop is having a bumper few days after local shoppers struggle to get to larger supermarkets. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Monks Eleigh's community village shop is having a bumper few days after local shoppers struggle to get to larger supermarkets. Picture: GREGG BROWN

A community shop in a small Suffolk village has had one of its busiest days since it opened 15 years ago as residents flocked to buy supplies due to the bad weather.

Monks Eleigh's community village shop is having a bumper few days after local shoppers struggle to get to larger supermarkets. Pictured is Janet Mackie. Picture: GREGG BROWNMonks Eleigh's community village shop is having a bumper few days after local shoppers struggle to get to larger supermarkets. Pictured is Janet Mackie. Picture: GREGG BROWN

The Monks Eleigh Community Shop, next to the Swan Inn pub in the village, near Lavenham, has had to order extra items such as bread, milk and vegetables to meet demand.

Janet Mackie, manager of the shop, which is staffed by volunteers, said the cold snap had brought many new customers to the store.

She said: “Wednesday was busy, but Thursday was probably a record. Today has been busy as well.

“The roads were impassable for a while yesterday, and people couldn’t go out in their cars. They’re a lot better now.

Monks Eleigh's community village shop is having a bumper few days after local shoppers struggle to get to larger supermarkets. Picture: GREGG BROWNMonks Eleigh's community village shop is having a bumper few days after local shoppers struggle to get to larger supermarkets. Picture: GREGG BROWN

“To be fair, we do have a core of local people who regularly use the shop but in the last three days, we have seen a lot of new people using it.”

The shop was set up in 2003 as a non-profit making business and is staffed by a team of volunteers who work in sessions to operate the till.

A sub-post office also operates from the same building.

Mrs Mackie praised the efforts of staff and suppliers in keeping the shop open over the last few days.

Monks Eleigh's community village shop is having a bumper few days after local shoppers struggle to get to larger supermarkets. Picture: GREGG BROWNMonks Eleigh's community village shop is having a bumper few days after local shoppers struggle to get to larger supermarkets. Picture: GREGG BROWN

“Our suppliers must take a lot of credit,” she said.

“They have been able to get to us and the staff have also been very busy and have worked very hard.

“I have had to order extra bread, milk and veg and it has sold as well.

“It’s always a worry ordering extra in case we don’t sell it because we’re only a small community shop.”

Mrs Mackie added that she hoped the new customers would now return to use the shop on a more regular basis.

“It would be nice,” she said. “A lot of the supermarkets ran out of things and we’re lucky that we have very good suppliers who kept us stocked up.”

Mandy Coll, sub-postmistress, said: “We have been busy, not as busy as the shop as post hasn’t been able to get in or out.

“Today was the first collection since Tuesday, but I have mainly been busy with banking.

“It’s been very good for the shop and the post office and it just shows the value of small shops and why we must keep them 100%.”

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