News from Woods of Hollingbourne who are taking over the Village Shop.

Hollingbourne Parish Council has received the following announcement from Martin and Julie Wood who are taking over Christopher’s Village Shop when Christopher Rudgard retires on 29th September.

We are delighted to announce that Woods of Hollingbourne LLP will be taking over the village shop. Christopher Ruggard, who has been the popular proprietor for the shop for the last 15 years or so, will be retiring at the end of September. We wish Christopher a long and happy retirement and thank him for entrusting the shop to us.

We understand how important the shop is to village life. We too live in the village and want to create a place we can all be proud of and hopefully use regularly! Our plans are still developing and will evolve over time, but we are excited to be able to share some initial details with you.

Firstly, the shop will be closing on the 29th September, which will be Christopher’s last day. Christopher has kindly agreed to maintain a newspaper service until the shop re-opens. He will be continuing to have your newspapers and magazines available for collection from his house in Eyhorne Street and will be making arrangements with people directly. We will take over the newspaper sales once the shop re-opens.

We firstly plan to refurbish the shop and give it some much needed TLC! Unfortunately, the shop will have to close whilst these works take place. We aim to be able to re-open at the end of October, but this will depend upon what we find when we begin the works. We will announce an opening date as soon as we can and apologise in advance for any inconvenience this causes.

It is no secret that the shop has struggled in recent years and footfall has significantly declined. In order for the shop to be viable, we will need to create something special and give people every reason to want to use it. That’s what we intend to do.

Our concept for the shop is to specialise in fresh, locally sourced products. We are blessed that there are some amazing suppliers creating excellent food and produce within the local area and the County. We have been busy making friends with many of these local suppliers and are excited to be able to present their produce to you. We recognise that it is important that we maintain a convenience offering and will continue to do so. But we cannot compete with the supermarkets for convenience items and believe that by serving amazing locally sourced produce with a friendly smile, people will choose to do their shopping at Woods of Hollingbourne.

Amongst other things, we will be stocking:

• Fresh, locally sourced and seasonal fruit and vegetables. Where possible these will be organic and will be far fresher and of a higher quality, than the food you can buy at the supermarket.
• Quality meats from our award-winning local supplier, including some amazing sausages!
• Organic, free-range eggs from our very own hens!
• Locally sourced dairy products and cheeses
• Amazing bread that will be delivered FRESH each day, from our master baker.
• A bigger range of newspapers and magazines
• Delicious sauces, Jams and condiments from Hollingbourne’s very own Sugar and Spice
• General convenience items

We are so passionate about the great food that we will be selling, that we want to serve it to you as well! We will therefore be offering a deli bar serving a selection of hot breakfast and lunch items showcasing some of the amazing food we have available to buy in store. Breakfast will be served to take away from 8am – 11am and lunch from 12pm -2pm Monday – Saturday.

Martin Wood can be contacted at martin@woodsofhollingbourne.co.uk or by Mobile telephone at +44(0)7817 668537