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2016 Rural Retailers Competition

It’s that time again.

The voting for Rural Retail 2016 competition opens on Monday 11th July at 11am. Two categories are open for public vote this year:

Most Valued Post Office – voting form.

Best Community Owned and Run Village Shop – voting form.

If you have any questions please contact Sharon on 07551 725383 or Rebecca on 01303 813790 alternatively email info@kentruralretailer.co.uk

Village Shops and Post Offices

Action with Communities in Rural Kent recognises the important role village shops and Post Offices play in maintaining vibrant communities in rural Kent, not only in terms of villagers being able to purchase supplies and access banking and postal services without having to travel outside the village, but also the shop and post office being important social hubs in a village – a place to share information and meet with friends and neighbours.

Kent  Rural Retailers (KRR) has been in existence for many years now and has done a lot to raise the profile for independent rural retailers in the County. It provides a wide range of services to help develop and sustain rural retailing while working closely with partners to bring innovations to the rural scene.  There is no charge for these services, whether it be to a commercial or community operation.A great deal of the funding required to run KRR comes from Kent County Council.

KRR service can assist:

  • Village shops owned by independent shopkeepers
  • Community owned village shops
  • Villagers that no longer have a shop and want to set up a community owned shop.
  • With setting up Business associations/retailer groups.
  • Communities wishing to explore alternative ways of providing and accessing mail collection and other post office services such as an out reach service.
  • Attending public and Parish council meetings to update on potential changes which could affect their shop or Post Office.

KRR provides:

  • Regular visits to rural shops and post offices to offer 1-1 advice
  • Retail and business advice and information
  • Mentoring of community groups setting up a community shop
  • Raising the profile of independent retailers in the County

KRR offers advice on:

  • Shop layout
  • Merchandising
  • Marketing
  • Business plans (Download a Business Plan template here)
  • Marketplace opportunities
  • Local foods
  • Category Management
  • Employment issues
  • Profit margin control

Useful Links:

Rural Shops Alliance

Convenience Store News

Talking Retail Magazine

25 Comments

  1. Jay Wylie said:

    Great wee family run shop with local and seasonal produce. Brilliant staff and customer service, friendly atmosphere and always a laugh. Can,t recommend it enough, this is how all shops should be!

    August 14, 2014
    Reply
    • Kent Rural Retailers said:

      Dear Mr Wylie
      thank you for nominating your local shop. In order for this nomination to be included I need the nomination form completed. This can be done on this site but I will also send it as an attachment to your e mail address. once again thank you for taking the time to contact me.

      August 14, 2014
      Reply
  2. Jay Wylie said:

    Great wee family run farm shop, supplying local and seasonal produce the year round.
    Brilliant staff and customer service, friendly atmosphere and always a laugh. Can,t recommend it enough, this is how all shops should be! J

    August 19, 2014
    Reply
  3. Susan Coleman said:

    This is an excellent Farm Shop. It has a good range of produce which changes seasonally and I can even buy my Christmas tree there! I particularly appreciate the fish stall which visits every two weeks.
    The Staff are always friendly and helpful. Brilliant enterprise!

    August 18, 2015
    Reply
  4. Nicholas Kerman said:

    Groombridge Farm shop is a top quality green grocer with fresh fish from Rye twice a month along with game and beautiful flower arrangements. Well worth multiple visits

    August 18, 2015
    Reply
  5. Mrs A M Day said:

    Since the refit at Stelling Minnis Stores and the increased lines at reduced prices, the shop is now used by more local people who do not feel the need to go to Canterbury for larger supermarkets. Emma and Bruce have done a wonderful job in updating the shop – the best of luck to them.

    August 18, 2015
    Reply
  6. Stella Grove said:

    Stelling Minnis Stores is the best village shop ever. Nothing is ever too much trouble for Bruce and Emma, and it is the real heart of the village.
    They are the true winners, and have my vote 150%

    August 18, 2015
    Reply
  7. wonka blakeney said:

    We would like to nominate Stelling Minnis Stores and Post Office.

    It is beautifully kept, very well stocked with wonderful friendly staff. The Post Office is essential for those of us who work from home.

    August 18, 2015
    Reply
  8. Anne Baxter said:

    The Post Office in Yalding is an important part of our village life. It’s SO much more than the obvious – selling fresh local produce of very high quality.
    It acts as our local ‘ lost property ‘ office and is the true heart of the village.

    August 19, 2015
    Reply
  9. Nicky Crouch said:

    Stelling Minnis & Post Office stores wins our vote! Everything you need on your doorstop, great choices, great prices, ALWAYS so helpful . Bruce & Emma and all their staff deserve recognition of the service they provide! Thank you

    August 19, 2015
    Reply
  10. Sheenagh gifford said:

    Stelling Minnis Stores and Post Officekeeps the village alive in every way. Bruce and Emma provide everything anyone could possibly need from fresh meat and veg to funny cards and postage stamps. They always bring a smile to your face and have time for everyone. Lovely staff, great choice, fair prices and open when you need them. Thank you guys you are much appreciated.

    August 19, 2015
    Reply
  11. Paul Revell said:

    Tim and June at Yalding post office provide the village with much more tha stamps,always cheerful,always friendly
    ,always providing the best that a village could ask for .

    August 20, 2015
    Reply
  12. Christine Thomas said:

    I would second all Anne’s comments about th villgePost Office here in Yaling. Tim is always happy and helpful, as was Terry before him. The local produce is nicely on display even though there is very little room! The PO is very much a part of the village and most of the villagers are known by their Christian names which demonstrates this.

    August 20, 2015
    Reply
    • Christine Thomas said:

      That should read Yalding

      August 20, 2015
      Reply
  13. mick prince said:

    Tim and June at Yalding Post Office provide an excellent service to the village with a friendly smile and a warm welcome. They provide fresh produce and the usual much needed post office facilities.

    August 20, 2015
    Reply
  14. Brenda Stewart said:

    Tim and June Chapman run the post office in Yalding, combining efficiency and good humour with services above and beyond the usual remit. They provide a welcoming presence and know most of
    their customers by name. Always willing to help with or take part in numerous village activities, they hold lost property and display locally produced food and arts and crafts, despite having very little space. They can truly be said to be the centre of village life in Yalding. They dealt with the flooding of their home and business premises at Christmas 2013 with calm and the above mentioned good humour, giving meaning to the oft quoted ‘Keep calm and carry on’! Yalding Post Office, thanks to them, is all that a village shop should be and I cannot think of a more deserving couple to gain an award of this kind.

    August 20, 2015
    Reply
  15. Dr mohammed al-hasani said:

    Stelling Minnis village shop and post office must be the best with out any doubt ,why ? you start first with a big smile and sincere greeting from Emma and Bruce and all their lovely staff are always helpful and friendly. the shop is always clean and tidy and the layout is great. They stock a great variety of fresh fruit and vegetables ,fresh bread and eggs,very often locally produced. Anything you need they seem to have even goats milk and lactose free ice cream! And competive prices too. One day they might even sell me a winning lottery ticket!!!!
    Emma and Bruce thank you so much for making the shop the heartbeat of the village and for your invaluable service.
    Mohammed Al Hasani

    August 27, 2015
    Reply
  16. Angie Artis said:

    Anu and her team at Speldhurst Village shop & PO are vital to our community in providing services that we’d otherwise have to travel farther afield for. Banking, all Post Office services, fresh bakery items, newspapers, fresh food and much much more. The elderly and non car drivers couldn’t manage without it, and for some it could be the only social contact in their day. The staff are always friendly and helpful, and our village really appreciates all the hard work that goes into keeping our shop/PO the hub of our community. Thank you Anu!!

    August 30, 2015
    Reply
  17. Angela hill said:

    the joy of obtaining quality produce coupled with easy parking without the drudge of getting to town means I visit frequently, get fresh produce, from friendly staff and the Christmas pre ordering system is brilliant.

    August 30, 2015
    Reply
  18. Barbara said:

    Plaxtol stores & post office has everything that a village store should be, fresh locally sourced products a real hub of the village community, always provide service with a smile. This has to be the winner!

    September 3, 2015
    Reply
  19. Shelagh Carter said:

    Emma and Bruce and all their staff at Stelling Minnis Stores run the best village shop in the area – always very welcoming, friendly and helpful. If they haven’t got an item you want, they will try their best to get it for you, very often by the next day. You rarely find this sort of service where nothing is ever too much trouble these days – I hardly ever go to supermarkets now, there’s no need with this excellent shop on our doorstep.

    September 4, 2015
    Reply
  20. Jon Angel said:

    Congratulations to Anu at Speldhurst P/O & Store for managing to maintain such a comprehensive, cheerful, & well-run service for the village in an era of supermarkets, big business, & globalisation – requires vision , determination, & stamina, as well as a kindness, a caring nature, & a sense of community, all of which Anu has in abundance.

    September 8, 2015
    Reply
  21. James Bowdidge said:

    Anu at Speldhurst Post Office is, quite simply, a star – always smiling, can’t do enough to help her customers and she stocks a great range of food and essentials, as well as treats such as the best sausage rolls in the world.

    September 10, 2015
    Reply
  22. Jo Chadd said:

    i just wanted to say what a lovely store, Raffertys is! How lucky the community is in Eynsford having such a fab, central shop. Great atmosphere, friendly staff and amazing food and drinks.
    The new owners have really put their heart and sole into making it a go to destination. Well done!

    September 17, 2015
    Reply
  23. lyn Stewart said:

    I was in Raffertys today and I couldn’t believe the vast selection of local Kent produce, Ice cream, Wine, Cheese, chutneys to name a few! Not only was I able to purchase my necessities but I was able to buy fresh local produce too. What a lovely little shop !
    Kathy who works daily, was helpful and i also understand they will be making up Hampers to order over the xmas period. I will surely be putting my order in
    thank you Raffertys

    September 17, 2015
    Reply

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