It’s only been open a few months but the Wigginton Community Shop and Café has already been shortlisted in two prestigious awards, including regional finalist for the Countryside Alliance’s Rural Oscars, and finalist in the Herts Business Awards.
Vice Chair of the Management Committee Deborah Simcock, is thrilled. ‘The last time Wigginton had a village shop was 19 years ago,’ she says. ‘It’s been a huge success.’
The committee asked residents what they wanted from a shop. ‘There were three main aims: convenience, somewhere to buy local produce, and somewhere to meet for a coffee and a chat.’
Run almost entirely by volunteers, the whole thing has brought the community together. ‘The volunteers were amazing,’ says Deborah. ‘We had architects, planners, lawyers and interior designers all from the village who were happy to offer their time.’
The project was funded in a variety of ways, including stakes for shareholders, council grants and lottery funding. Any profits are ploughed back into the community.
‘The café has been an enormous success,’ says Deborah. ‘It really has brought the whole village together.’