(Originally written for the March edition of the Hawkesbury Parish News, this post praises our village shop and encourages people everywhere to shop local)
“I’m sending you a tall dark handsome man.”
So I was told when I popped in to the Hawkesbury Shop to collect my regular Hobbs House bread order the other week. Hmm, now there’s a new service I didn’t know about, I thought, wondering what my husband would make of it.
It turned out that the staff had been chatting to a new customer who had recently moved to the area. When they discovered he was writing a book, they told him he ought to meet me, as they knew I help fellow authors publish and promote their books. The result: I’ve acquired a new and interesting friend, who I’ve introduced to other friends, including some who are helping him find accommodation. And the shop has another satisfied customer.
This episode illustrates just one of many unsung services offered by our village shop. Earlier this week I discovered another one. When the school bus was an hour late on a very cold Monday morning, the children whose parents had already left for work were allowed to wait safely inside the shop till the bus eventually appeared. How comforting for working parents to know that in such a crisis, the shop steps into the rescue.
So support your local shop, folks, because it supports our village community in so many ways, often with no financial reward. Tesco and co, take note: kindness to customers is one thing that money can’t buy.