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Ilsington Village Shop
Old Town Hill
TQ13 9RG

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Staff hoping to be top of the shops



Extract from the Mid Devon Advertiser Friday February 20 2015:

Staff and volunteers at Ilsington’s community shop are hoping a trip to the House of Commons next Wednesday will see them crowned the nation’s top small store.

The business, owned and operated by villagers since 2012, has been shortlisted in the 2015 Parliamentary Best Small Shops Competition.

It is the only community-run venture to have reached the final 20, judges from the All Party Parliamentary Small Shops Group having considered 300 entries.

The good news arrived on Friday the 13th.

The message included a comment from the judges which read:

“We were impressed and delighted by both the number and calibre of the submissions from retailers sunflowerfor the award.  We were humbled by their energy, impressed by their commitment and in awe of the extent to which the best are embedded in their communities.  There is no doubt that independent retail is in the hands of creative, innovative, business-savvy individuals. It was incredibly hard to shortlist and the range of shops on the shortlist, both geographically and across sectors, is a good indication of the depth and breadth of the talent in evidence.”

Manager Emma Schramm is delighted at having made it so far:

“It’s just thrilling and a real recognition of the hard work everyone has put in,” she said. “The shop does so well because it has such a friendly, welcoming environment. We’ve got more than 50 volunteers and everyone knows each other, we’re the real centre of the community. If we were to win the award it would just mean so much.”

Ilsington lost its shop in 2009. Residents set about raising £250,000 to upgrade the village hall, creating a meeting room and retail space in the process.

It had been hoped that by the end of the first year’s trading in the summer of 2013 the business would have taken £110,000. Instead, the final figure was closer to £170,000 and the business continues to thrive.

At the time chairman Alan Hobbs said: “It’s brilliant. It’s been a steep learning curve and we’ve a lot of people to thank for where we are today. It’s been a good journey.”

Mrs Schramm is due to make the trip to London with committee member Kirsten Day.

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