Garden venture for community-run shop

Lythe Community Shop.
Lythe Community Shop.

Lythe Community Shop is set to open a newly-created tea garden at the back of the shop, this Easter.

The garden will boast an attractive paved area with tables and chairs and raised beds planted with a wide variety of cottage garden flowers, shrubs and herbs.

Sheltered and south-facing, the garden will be a suntrap and somewhere to enjoy a coffee, sandwich, cake or pastries. There will also be a servery and ice cream parlour and customers will be able to eat from the same menu as in the shop.

Creation of the garden was possible thanks to a grant from the county counil’s Stronger Communities Fund.

The village shop first opened its doors in June 2014 after the closure of the village shop that had been in existence for around 100 years.

It is currently run by about 20 regular volunteers, two part-time employees and an apprentice. The running of the shop is overseen by a committee of eight volunteers.

The shop is now going to enter a new phase in its development to ensure its long-term viability.

To support the new garden venture as well as the shop, the committee is looking for a permanent part-time manager (minimum 30 hours) to assume responsibility for a number of aspects and to provide continuity in the smooth running of the shop. This job will require a wide variety of skills – retail, catering, Post Office etc and training can be provided where necessary.

It will require someone who understands the nature of a community enterprise, a business run by and for the local community, where people are more than just customers. Anyone interested in applying should call 01947 893983 for more details. Closing date for applications will be March 16. Anyone can visit the shop for a chat to learn more.

Current volunteer Manager, Clare Churley, said: “This is a great place to work and is a real opportunity for someone who enjoys working with people.”