Central England Co-op has launched its brand new store in the Lincolnshire village of Donington creating 26 new jobs and making a major investment in the county.
The Society today officially opened its store at Goodacre Buildings, in Church Street offering locals food and essentials on their doorstep, with local schoolchildren helping to cut the ribbon.
The site of the new store is well-known in the village and its history has included being run as a farm machinery dealership and latterly specialised in in-store potato & produce handling equipment. It had been owned for the last 75 years by the Goodacre family, and Neil Goodacre and his wife Wendy were invited to the opening and also help cut the ribbon.
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, Insomnia Coffee, and Tango Ice Blast, a customer car park and a customer toilet with baby changing facilities.
The modern, spacious store also features special eco-friendly fridges, LED lighting and a free water refill station in line with the retailer’s sustainability goals, as well as a free bike repair station, outdoor seating, lifesaving defibrillator and a community noticeboard.
Children from nearby Donington Cowley Endowed Primary School were invited to cut the ribbon on the new store and enjoyed a tour from the Store Manager Paul Brown.
A food bank collection point has also been installed to support the great work of Agape Food Bank as it continues to manage the increased demand caused by the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.
To mark the launch, Paul made a special donation of food and essentials to the food bank and he said his team were looking forward to being part of the local community in Donington and building relationships with local groups and organisations.
He said: “It’s great to have finally opened our doors and welcome our new customers and members to see our fantastic new store and see what we have on offer.
“All of us here are proud to be part of such a great community in Donington so we were delighted to welcome children from Donington Cowley Endowed Primary School to join us on our opening day and cut the ribbon on the new store.
“It was a pleasure to welcome Neil and Wendy to join the launch activities as a nod to their family’s legacy with this site which we’re proud to be building upon.
“It was also nice to welcome Agape Food Bank down and help kick off our relationship with a donation to support the brilliant work they are doing supporting the community.
“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank local residents for their patience as work on the store has progressed. It’s been long-awaited, but hopefully everyone will enjoy the store as much as we do.”
The building now home to Central England Co-op has been named Goodacre Buildings in reference to the Goodacre family, and also features an additional smaller retail unit complementing which will open later this year.
Neil Goodacre said: “All of the Goodacre family are delighted with the new building, which bears our name and retains the family’s association with the village. We wish Central England Co-op every success with the new store, and we hope that Doningtonians, and indeed residents of the nearby villages, benefit from it being there to serve them.
“We feel proud to have a building named after the family, and that the work of previous generations of the family are honoured and remembered too. My wife and I were also delighted to be part of the opening ceremony.”
Shoppers visiting the new Donington store can sign up to become a Central England Co-op member to receive a range of special offers, join member groups and activities and help support the local community through the Society’s Community Dividend Fund.
The store is now open from 7am to 10pm, Monday to Sunday and it 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, fresh pastries and bread from the in-store bakery and Co-op Irresistible and Fairtrade product ranges.
The store also offers Lottery, Paypoint and a free cash machine.