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By Haddenham Webteam - 25th September 2023 4:00pm
Blooming Fruity is now community-owned!
Haddenham's much-loved greengrocer, Blooming Fruity, has today been bought on behalf of the village by Haddenham Community Enterprise Limited, the community benefit society (CBS) established to take over the shop.
The successful purchase is the fruit of nearly two years of hard work by a group of volunteers, and was made possible by a successful share offer that raised over £128,000 from more than 260 investors and donors, the vast majority of them local residents.
This means that the village shopping parade will not lose its traditional greengrocers, and villagers will continue to enjoy a wide range of quality fruit and veg, as well as the friendly, personal service that made the shop so popular.
Initially, the business will continue to run as before, although a new electronic till system will be introduced from day one, and shoppers will notice some rearrangement and cosmetic changes over the first few weeks.
In the longer term, the business plan that accompanied the share issue included some more far-reaching changes: introducing a deli counter, finding new local suppliers, extending opening hours, online ordering and an expanded delivery service via electric vehicle.
These goals were guided by responses to our community surveys, and we will be working to achieve them where funds allow. We will also be running a branding exercise to reflect the shop's even stronger community ethos and forward-looking approach.
The project team was delighted with the response from the community and is deeply grateful to all those who have supported the venture: the donors and investors, but also the Haddenham and Waddesdon Community Board, the Plunkett Foundation and Haddenham Beer Festival Trust.
Blooming Fruity will now be run by and for the community: as members of the CBS, investors will all have one vote on proposals at general meetings and will appoint the management committee at the first AGM. Any profits not reinvested in the business or used to pay shareholder interest will be put towards community projects.
In the meantime, the interim management committee is delighted to have recruited two very capable new managers to take over the day-to-day running of the shop on a job-share basis.andra and Rebecca, who are both local residents, are really looking forward to getting stuck in, getting to know the customers and working with their new colleagues, so we hope you will all pop into the shop and say hello over the next few weeks.
Debbie and Cherry will also be staying on, and Sally will be there too initially to help with the transition.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held on the morning of Monday October 2nd to mark the transition to community ownership.
on behalf of Haddenham Community Enterprise Limited