HAVE you visited Slaithwaite recently?
Since the improvement works that allowed the canal to run through the town again, it seems that it has taken on a new lease of life and one business that only got underway last July has proven that, when one good thing starts, it often acts as a catalyst for others.
The shop, now known as The Green Valley Grocer was, up to spring 2009 a tired looking old-fashioned Greengrocers shop.
Seen now, it is a vibrant local shop, with a bakery, The Handmade Bakery, attach to it, selling local and regional fresh produce when it is available, including locally produced home made jams and chutneys, Wellhouse Bilberrys in season and much, much more.
The shop, that opened in July last year, is run as a co-operative, using The Industrial and Provident Society (IPS) model, with upwards of 150 people already having brought a share in the business.
Shares can be as little as £10.00 or as much as £20,000 if you want to invest in your local community shop.
With over £2000 worth of business in their first week, Graham Mitchell and Helen Coxan were delighted and the shop has gone from strength to strength.
Other retail businesses in the town have noticed an upturn in trade, despite the recession and, through the MASTT initiative and the Marsden and Slaithwaite Renaissance Town Team, things are looking good for these Colne Valley communities.
The next stage of development is to find as many local and regional people, both amateur and commercial, to supply the shop with fruits, vegetables and associated produce to help further develop a truly local shop.
So, if you think that you might have enough spare land to produce a particular or specialist crop or surplus produce, or you can turn a crop into a saleable product to sell through the shop, why not call in and have a chat with Graham or Helen.
Visit The Green Valley Grocers website at www.slaithwaite.coop or call the shop on 01484 598050 or just call in at 14 Carr Lane, Slaithwaite and see for yourself.
The Handmade Bakery, run on the same cooperative lines, is based at the same shop in Slaithwaite and can be reached by calling 07894 036742 or visiting www.handmadebakery.coop .
Even they are planning to grow they own wheat locally so these are truly local products for local people.
To find out more about IPS check out the following websites www.fsa.gov.uk , www.cooperatives-uk.coop , www.diycommittee.org .