Time for change – the countdown is on for a new & improved village shop with a brand new community cafe.
St Mary Bourne is a busy and thriving village. At its heart lies The George Inn, the Village Hall and the Village Shop and Post Office. While all three of these amenities provide good services to the village, through talking with local people, it has become apparent that the addition of a Community Café could enhance the village services further, by offering a space where people could meet, chat and gather information about events and other organisations in the local area. Whilst our current shop has served us well over the last 20 years, we now find ourselves bursting at the seams and needing a little TLC.
As well as this, there is an ever-growing crusade on plastic waste which has been spearheaded by celebrities such as Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and David Attenborough. This has created a demand for zero waste shopping whereby customers can use their own containers to fill up on day-to-day products such as dried food goods and household cleaning products. St Mary Bourne Village Shop is ideally placed in the Bourne Valley to fill this gap in the market and make it, along with the new Café, a great daytime meeting place, as well as better serving its local community.
St Mary Bourne Village Shop is ready for the next phase in its existence. It is a thriving shop, creating a healthy annual profit and is ideally placed and primed for an extension to include a wonderful Café with homemade cakes, delicious coffee, hot drinks and light snacks and to provide an Eco Shop to run alongside the existing convenience store.
Our proposal will see our much-loved village shop expand in size & facilities to become the heart of our community!
By making the Café a community hub that is attractive to all age groups makes for a cohesive and inclusive community. The Café would have the ability to offer different services for different needs depending on the time of day. For example, you would expect that after school drop-off or before school pick-up would be a busy time for school mothers to meet, but at lunchtimes, the Café could offer soup or sandwiches to the older generation. Mid-morning might be a busy time for mothers with toddlers to come and meet and there may be an area where soft toys could be set out for the children. That’s not to say that everyone would be welcome, whatever time of day!!
The Café would focus on inclusion within the community and would endeavor to set up interactive sessions where generations might overlap. For example, encouraging older members of the community to volunteer in story time sessions for young children or by setting up groups where older members of the community could teach younger members skills, such as knitting or card games, or the younger generation could teach the older generation tech skills. Many social groups meet at the Village Hall on a weekly basis making the Café an ideally situated spot to meet before or after sessions at the Village Hall.
Designed by a local architect the shop & cafe will have one extension that will expand out to the front as well as a wrap-around extension to the right and back of the existing shop. The entrance will have a new covered walkway for those rainy days. A dedicated area outside the back will provide outdoor seating for those sunny days with a lovely view of the recreation ground!
Using different on-trend materials to create a cosy, modern, inviting environment that will make you want to come back again and again. This beautiful interior accompanied by great coffee, delicious cakes, refreshing teas & soft drinks and light lunches will provide a relaxed atmosphere where you can work, meet friends, or chill with a good book. Free WiFi and additional seating outside will make it the perfect spot for any occasion
The entrance to the shop will remain in the same spot. You’ll enter onto the shop floor with the cafe seating area straight ahead and a brand new deli counter wrapping the whole way round towards the left. This counter will have an area for the post office & a till for the shop, as well as the cafe bar housing a barista coffee machine and delicious baked goods. In the new extension to the left there will be the eco shop full of refillable goods and to the right will be the cafe kitchen where snacks and lunches will be created. There will be an outside seating area for customers to enjoy the views of the recreation ground.
The location of the shop, in the heart of the village, with its views over the children’s playground and the playing fields, make it an ideal location for the addition of a Café with the added benefit of car parking facilities as well as the starting and finishing point for many of the walks in the area. Add to this the idea of creating a great focal point; village jobs and a clean, welcoming, safe environment makes this a venture that benefits all.