20th Anniversary Somerset Stories: Bradford-on-Tone Village Shop

The Bradford-on-Tone village shop is run for the community by volunteers from within the community, on a not-for-profit basis. They stock quality products from local suppliers, including everyday groceries, frozen foods, dairy goods and household essentials.

We spoke to a member of the committee, Viv Adams, who told us how a £2,500 grant from The Somerset Fund meant they were able to invest in a new display freezer, buy new signage and display cases, and give the whole shop a makeover.

“There are many older people who live in the village. We supply the basics so they don’t have to go far for things like milk and bread. We have lots of regular customers – many people from the parish come in to pick up their daily newspapers. They know the shop is a community endeavour, so they make the effort to support us on a regular basis.

Our grant from The Somerset Fund mainly went towards replacing our old freezer which was beyond repair – it was a huge expense. We were also able to do a general upgrade just to make the place fresh and clean; it’s been a community shop since 1998 and over the years it had started to look a bit tired.

We originally set up the shop by selling Shop Association membership to people in the village. As an association we have around 60 members – most of whom live in the parish.

We’re more than just a shop: we’re next to the pub, the church and the village hall, so we’re right at the heart of it all. The community would be hugely affected if we weren’t here – the next closest village shop is around 3 miles away. People pop in for a chat and a catch up with others or they phone to ask if someone could drop something in for them. We’re never short of volunteers and we aim to be flexible in everything we do.

The Somerset Fund grant has made such a huge difference to us. It was a real boost for us to be recognised as doing something worthwhile and making a difference in our community. We’re very grateful indeed.”


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