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Community Greengrocer?

by Dianne Brackley – 24th March 2023
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Does Haddenham need a Community Greengrocer?

Blooming Fruity has been for sale for almost a year. It's possible that when sold it will cease to trade as a greengrocer. Regular users of the shop are concerned about this.

The current owner's preferred option is to sell commercially as an ongoing greengrocer business. However, if this is not possible we have been preparing a contingency plan.

In May 2022 many people expressed support for taking over the business and running it as a community-owned greengrocer, so a small steering group was set up to explore this. The steering group has joined the trade association for Community shops which has provided invaluable support, advice and information. Progress has been steady, as we have been in constant dialogue with the current owner, and have reviewed the past five years accounts (including Balance sheet and Cash flow), have projected forward and developed a valuation of the current business, a draft business plan and an understanding of the investment required to further develop the business.

To move forward we need to address 3 key issues:

DEMAND – Is there sufficient demand for a Greengrocers in the village?
INVESTMENT – Are enough Haddenham residents prepared to invest so the required funds can be raised?
MANAGEMENT BOARD – Can we find volunteers with the skills needed?

Subject to assurances from the community the next stage will be a share offer.

Shares will be sold at £10 each, with a minimum of 10 shares and a maximum of 500 shares per shareholder. All investors will become members and will have a single vote (irrespective of the number of shares held) in how the business is set up and run. All investments will be locked in for the first three years, with the aim of paying up to a 5% dividend once the business is profitable.

The current location of Blooming Fruity is ideal for a community-owned shop. It is a well-used location and easily accessible on foot or by car. If, however, the current location proves unworkable or unaffordable, we would look for an alternative site.

Irrespective of location, a community greengrocer business offers considerable potential for improvement including but not restricted to; enhanced deliveries, online ordering, longer opening hours, deli-counter, tips, recipes, and many more ideas that have been incredibly successful in community-owned settings.

We are holding an open meeting on Thursday 30th March at 7.30pm in the Walter Rose room at the village hall, with a presentation of the proposal and a chance to ask questions. Plus a drop-in session on Saturday 1st April between 10am & 12 noon, in the Parish Council conference room at the village hall.

We need people to attend, to commit their support and their pledges. Without assured support we cannot move to the next stage.

Online Survey

If you cannot attend either of the meetings, you can still express your support via our online survey.

For further information please email us at: haddgrocer@gmail.com

Thank you. Let's make this work together!

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