Central England Co-op has officially opened its new store in Armthorpe near Doncaster creating 14 new jobs and investing £700,000 in the local community.
The Society today officially opened its new store based on the site of the former The Acorn pub in Hatfield Lane, Armthorpe, offering locals food and essentials on their doorstep, with the ribbon cut on the store by children from nearby school Shaw Wood Academy.
The community food store offers shoppers an expansive range of products and features such as self-service checkouts, an extensive food to go section including hot food, Costa Coffee and Tango Ice Blast machines, a free water refill station, a customer car park and customer toilets with baby changing facilities.
The modern, spacious store also features special eco-friendly fridges and LED lighting, as well as a lifesaving defibrillator, free bicycle repair station, public noticeboard and outdoor seating for the Armthorpe community.
On the outside of the store there is also artwork specially created by children from Shaw Wood Academy, who joined the store team to officially cut the ribbon at the launch and have a first look at their handiwork.
A food bank collection point has also been installed to support the great work of Doncaster Food Bank as it continues to manage the increased demand caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
To mark the launch, Store Manager Lyn Hunter made a special donation of food and essentials to the food bank.
She said the store team were looking forward to being part of the local community and to working with Doncaster Food Bank to support people struggling from the impact of the pandemic and the rising cost of living, while she also thanked Shaw Wood Academy for helping to cut the ribbon and for the children’s fantastic artwork.
She said: “It is great to finally open our doors to the local community as the team have been desperate to support our neighbours and ensure they can access food and essentials on their doorstep.
“All of us here at the new store are proud to be part of such a great community in Armthorpe so we are delighted to be able to support Doncaster Food Bank which is offering a lifeline to vulnerable residents and people struggling in these testing times.
“All the team were so happy to be joined on our big day by children from Shaw Wood Academy and I would like to thank the children for their brilliant artwork which we are so proud to be able to include on our store and see every day as we come to work.
“I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank local residents for their patience. It has been long-awaited, but hopefully everyone will enjoy the store as much as we do.”
The artwork created by Shaw Wood Academy is entitled ‘What Armthorpe Means to Me’ and Headteacher Nicola Parker-Watts said they were thrilled to be involved.
She said: “Our children were delighted to be asked by Central England Co-op to not only help cut the ribbon on their brand new store here in Armthorpe, but also to provide a special piece of artwork to be displayed outside that can be seen by the whole community. We hope to further develop links within the community and work with other local businesses in the future.”
Ann Sawyer, class teacher, who encouraged the children to participate in this project, added: “The children had a great time completing the artwork which saw them draw inspiration from the local area and its history. They have been really excited about seeing the finished design and to join in with the launch day by officially opening the store.”
Shoppers visiting the new store can sign up to become a Central England Co-op member to receive a range of member offers, join member groups and activities and help support the local community through the Society’s Community Dividend Fund.
The Hatfield Lane Central England Co-op food store is now open from 7am to 10pm, Monday to Sunday.
The store offers a wide range of products from everyday necessities to something a little more special, including fresh fruit and vegetables, chilled beers and wines, fresh and frozen product and Co-op Irresistible and Fairtrade product ranges.
Customers also have the option to use Scan and Go allowing them to use a mobile app to help make their shopping experience even easier, while there is also Lottery, Paypoint and a free cash machine available.