Our Vision for the future of the Weston Pantry is simple:
- Owned by the local community, for the local community
- Continue the successful ‘recipe’ of the current shop, but identify and implement opportunities for improvements
We believe this vision meets the Weston SOS aim to ‘maintain a shop and post office within Weston on the Green as a community hub’.
Owned by the local community
The Weston Pantry is not just an asset for residents of Weston on the Green, but also the surrounding villages and businesses. Approximately 45% of our survey responses were from outside of the village with Middleton Stoney, Chesterton, Bletchingdon and Kirtlington each providing 10% of responses.
Through community ownership as a Community Benefit Society, we’ll be able to reinvest profits into the Shop and Post Office and other local community projects. We’ll be accountable to the local community.
To learn more about our plan for community ownership – see our Community Ownership page.
The Shop’s Future
The February meeting and survey results showed considerable support for the current staff, products and services within the Shop and Post Office. We don’t intend to make significant changes – but we have already identified some opportunities for improvements and will continue to do so.
Key to this is to:
- Maintain the Post Office – 91% of survey responses use the Post Office for parcels/letters and 30-35% use the Post Office for either banking/bill payments or other services. To maintain the current Post Office contract and services, we need to ensure a smooth handover to a new sub-postmaster.
- Maintain the current staff – 92% agreed that the shop meets their expectations and feedback from the survey was overwhelmingly positive about the service and friendliness of the staff.
- Maintain the product/service offering – a local village shop selling key essential groceries, sandwiches & sausage rolls, tea/coffee and locally made produce, reducing transport miles.
- Act as a community hub – being a contact/touch point for elderly & vulnerable residents and a place for social interaction.
From the survey and our discussions, there are opportunities for improvements we have identified that we will consider, either now or in the future:
- Providing additional seating for coffee & chats – opening up/increasing the patio space in front and at side of the shop.
- Refurbishment and renovation – potentially expanding the shop floor space to increase the range of products on sale (more local produce, eco-refills, increased freezer selection).
- Flat – with some renovation works, the flat could be rented out to provide long-term local accommodation.
- Increased accessibility – step-free access to the shop.