A food store in a newly established Derbyshire community which has proved a lifeline for neighbours during the Covid-19 pandemic is celebrating its first anniversary of serving locals with vital food and essentials.
The Langley Country Park Central England Co-op Food Store opened its doors in the newly created community in Samuel Road, near Mackworth last October creating 20 new jobs and investing over half a million pounds in the local area.
It has been a whirlwind first 12 months for Store Manager Michael Mellor and his team as they settled in to their new home before the impact of the ongoing pandemic hit in March.
Michael thanked the neighbours in Langley Country Park for their support as they quickly had to adapt the store to keep customers and colleagues safe in these uncertain times.
He said: “These have certainly been exceptional circumstances to open a new store in. We were just settling down after the first five or six months and then Covid-19 hit.
“We have had a really nice welcome though from customers and members. The team have been really good through all the rapid changes we have gone through and we have had some really positive feedback with people praising the customer service we have provided, how nice the store has been to shop in and how they have felt safe through all this which is wonderful to hear.
“I would like to thank our customers who have been really pleasant, appreciative of our efforts and supportive with the guidelines we have had to bring in.”
When the store opened last October, Michael and the team were joined by a group of young people and carers from nearby charity Umbrella to cut the ribbon and presented them with vouchers to help them with supplies for their meetings and groups.
Michael said they are continuing to build links with Umbrella and hope to continue to be a vital part of the local community during the pandemic and beyond.
He said: “We were really grateful to the young people and carers from Umbrella for helping us launch the store and have continued to develop those links and are supporting them with their Christmas raffle this year.
“We are a community retailer and take that role seriously, especially being part of a new community here at Langley Country Park. I think we have been a lifeline for locals through these uncertain times, doing door-to-door deliveries where necessary for vulnerable residents who were unable to get to us in person and I’m proud of what my team have been doing.”
Customers visiting the store in the run up to Halloween can help in the fight against food poverty by buying a special ghost pumpkin, with every purchase seeing Central England Co-op donate 50p to benefit FareShare Midlands and its amazing work in the local area.
The Langley Country Park Co-operative Food Store is open from 7am to 10pm, Monday to Sunday, with features including phone charging seating area, a free water refill station, a Costa Coffee machine, customer car park and a free cash machine.