Uley Community Stores celebrates its 2nd year of trading with a boost in profits

Uley Community Stores (UCS) is celebrating two years as a community-led enterprise by announcing a 15% increase in takings.

The community store and Post Office was saved by residents in July 2012. As part of the community the shop has contributed, in a small way, to a number of good causes in the villages of Uley and Owlpen.

UCS Management Committee Chairman, Peter Randall said: “The shop is a very important part of our local community and we are delighted that takings are increasing every month. Like all businesses profitability is the key to survival and growth, and we are really pleased that this is now our second profitable year. We also know that we can always do more to make the shop and Post Office better and we are constantly looking to see how we can improve in everything that we do.”

Local residents, workers and visitors say they are extremely happy that the store has survived, providing vital services and a social hub for this rural community.

A bank of more than 60 volunteers regularly work 2 hour shifts in the store, 7 days a week. Their passion and commitment supports the store’s commercial success.

Newcomer to Uley, Solveig Bannerman, moved from a hamlet which had lost its local store, she said: “The shop is important to the village and working in the store has been a great way to meet people – I really enjoy it.”

Locals believe that the shop exists as a hub of the community, catering particularly to older residents who don’t want to travel too far for basic groceries and who need to use the Post Office services.

Cathy White was involved in the initial planning stages and, as well as working in the shop, she manages most of the UCS day-to-day operations, from co-ordinating volunteers to stock management. Cathy said: “Miraculously we found enough volunteers from the start. All ages come in and feel part of a community. Every one of us has got to know many more people. And who doesn’t like playing shop?”

To mark the 2nd anniversary UCS is launching a new canvas shopping bag and later hosting a party for the volunteers.