Amberley Shop and Café opened at the end of June amidst a flurry of excitement. A dedicated committee had spent six years raising funds, finding a venue, then designing and constructing the shop and café in, unusually, an active church – Holy Trinity Church in Amberley.
After three months trading and many thousands of coffees and cakes later, the shop and café footfall has exceeded expectations, meaning a general manager will soon be joining the team of nearly 80 volunteers.
In recognition of its high standards, in mid-September the café achieved a five-star food hygiene rating from Stroud District Council.
Upcoming plans include the addition of hot food in the café, the opening of a meeting space upstairs, and new seasonal products in the shop. There will be more pop-up events including a coffee morning in aid of Macmillan on Friday, September 29th following the success of a bank holiday cream tea event and holiday story times for youngsters.
The shop is open from 8am to 4pm, seven days a week except during Sunday morning services and stocks everything from essentials like bread and milk to luxury ready meals and sauces. Popular items include Woodchester Valley wine, Plenty Pies from Woodchester, Amberley honey, cheese and meat from Taylors of Minchinhampton, and cards by local artists.
Volunteer Deb Herbert said: “It’s about providing everyday goods, so if you run out of loo roll, you run out cornflakes, milk, cheese or bread it’s all here.
“We also have some nice biscuits and we’ve got some very nice wine and beers and as much as we can we source it from local suppliers.”
Chair of the Management Team, Helen Demuth said, “Whenever someone walks through the door for the first time there is a genuine look of surprise on their face when they see how a shop and café can complement a working church. We have been overwhelmed by the goodwill from locals and tourists alike and look forward to seeing many familiar and new faces in the coming months.”
Scroll through the gallery of pictures by Matt Bigwood