Central England Co-op has officially opened its new store in Sutton, Cambridgeshire creating 15 new jobs and investing over £2 million in the local community.
The Society today officially opened its new store powered by 100% renewable energy in Ely Road, offering the local community food and essentials on their doorstep.
Features of the store include self-scan till points, a bicycle repair station, customer car park with electric car charging points, a full range of products, free hot and cold water refill station, phone charging area, indoor and outdoor seating areas and customer toilets.
A food bank collection point has also been installed to support the great work of Ely Food Bank as it continues to manage the increased demand caused by the Coronavirus outbreak.
To mark the launch, Store Manager Rebecca Mott made a special donation of food and essentials to the food bank.
She said the store team were looking forward to being part of the local community and to working with Ely Food Bank to support people struggling from the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic.
She said: “It is great to finally open our doors to the local community as the team have been desperate to support our neighbours and ensure they can access food and essentials during the pandemic.
“All of us here at the new store are proud to be part of such a great community in Sutton so we are delighted to be able to support Ely Food Bank which is offering a lifeline to vulnerable residents and people struggling in these testing times.
“I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank local residents for their patience. It has been long-awaited, but hopefully everyone will enjoy the store as much as we do.”
Bren Francis, rural development manager at Ely Food Bank, said: “Ely Foodbank is very excited about our new donor, Central England Co-op in Sutton and we are very happy and grateful to be the recipient of a donation from the new store. Their collection point will provide a real boost to our stock levels enabling us to give food to those in need.
“We don’t think anyone in our community should have to face going hungry. That’s why we provide emergency food and support to local people who are referred to us in crisis. We partner with a wide range of care professionals such as doctors, health visitors, social workers and police to identify people in crisis who issue them with a foodbank voucher.
“Every day, people in the UK go hungry for reasons ranging from redundancy to receiving an unexpected bill on a low income. A simple box of food makes a big difference. Our current shortages are tea, coffee, squash, juice and tinned fish.”
As part of the launch shoppers have the opportunity to sign up to become a member and nominate a particularly deserving someone in their community to receive a seasonal Co-op hamper worth £100. More details are available in store.
In line with the latest Government guidance, the store has a range of social distancing measures in place, including special floor markings, external queuing, hygiene measures such as an automated hand sanitising station upon entry and safety devices such as plastic screens at checkouts and face coverings and visors for all colleagues.
The Ely Road Co-operative food store is open from 7am to 10pm, Monday to Sunday and offers a wide range of products from everyday necessities to something a little more special.
This includes fresh fruit and vegetables, an in-store bakery offering breads and pastries, chilled beers and wines, fresh and frozen product, Irresistible product ranges, as well as a great selection of food to go, including hot food.
It also offers Lottery, Paypoint and foreign currency, as well as a Costa Coffee machine, a free cash machine and a lifesaving defibrillator.
The Central England Co-op development in Ely Road also includes a second smaller retail unit which will house a food takeaway, bringing more facilities and employment to the local community in the coming months.