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Historically , Coaley boasted a number of shops. The principle one was the main village store run by Mr. Griffin from 1939 to 1968, in premises opposite the church and known as 'The Old Post Office'. Most goods were sold, including petrol, paraffin, hardware and haberdashery. Others included a butcher and the last shop to close was what is now Wisteria House, a general shop including a sub Post Office.

Now we have Coaley Community Shop which has been trading for 20 years this year. As long-term village residents may remember, it all started as a result of the village appraisal carried out by the Parish Council in 1996, which showed great demand for a shop. The then chairman formed a group of villagers to try and start a community shop. To fund this, they formed the Coaley Shop Association with membership open to all villagers with a single one-off payment of £10. It took a lot of hard work, fund-raising and negotiating with authorities, before they achieved their goal. The primary school gave an old terrapin building and a site was rented from the Village Hall committee. The shop finally opened in 2003, and is operated entirely by volunteers.

The past 20 years have seen many changes both in the village and in the way we all shop. The building became increasingly scruffy despite efforts to improve it and it was also too small to accommodate the products and services, particularly the social centre, we wanted to offer. In 2018, the members decided to try to replace it with an energy efficient and green new building. With amazing support from the residents of Coaley and local businesses, in fundraising, donations and building it, the new shop opened in 2021.

It’s still run by the Coaley Shop Association which now has around 130 members. It still only costs a one-off payment of £10 to join. Members are able to vote at the Annual General Meeting and stand for election to the Management Committee. We would love to have more new members to ensure we remain representative of the village and continue to provide what people want from their shop. Membership forms are available in the shop and to celebrate our 20 years of trading, we are offering a new loyalty scheme to all members.

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