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Written by one of our lovely customers Elaine

For many years I lived in a village. We had a butcher (with cheese stall), independent baker, greengrocer and fishmonger, plus a small, but useful, Co-op. Our greengrocer always had a great selection of fresh fruit and veg. Although not organic, she sourced locally-grown produce, so much of it was English and seasonal. I try to buy organic, but “food miles” are more important to me. I couldn’t understand why my neighbour drove 6 miles to a supermarket in the next town to do all her shopping (and then filled her bin with packaging and food she didn’t eat).

The only staples I couldn’t buy locally were unsalted butter and loose Assam tea. When Tesco finally came to the village I continued to support our independent shops but thought “at least I can get my butter and tea now”. This lasted for a few weeks until Tesco decided to drop Assam tea because of “small demand”. So much for consumer choice. Moving to Prestwich, fast forward to the dark days before Village Greens. To shop local meant being anonymous, no friendly natter over the bread counter - and worse – my own bin was filled with packaging at the end of the week, so we were delighted to do what we could to make Village Greens a reality. This week started early on Saturday as we’d agreed to do “the bread run”, using our (cleaned) car to collect the bread from Trove Bakery – real bakers making real bread. Our favourite – wholemeal sourdough (a hefty 800 grams). On Wednesday the shop was pleasantly busy with customers, volunteers, and staff. Wednesday fresh stock arrives (so a good day to visit). I needed loose Assam tea, macaroni, more bread, and peanut butter. We usually buy the 1 kg tub (the best buy), but as we’re trying to reduce plastic, I chose a slightly more expensive brand in a glass jar. We will put the plastic tub to another use, probably on our allotment. Speaking of which, we’ve had a bumper crop of most things this year, which was great, but did reduce our shop a bit at Village Greens, though there was still plenty on our list beside tea and butter. I noticed some lovely seasonal veg in the shop. Last year we couldn’t get enough of the variety of squashe and as ours have finished on the allotment, we’ll be getting those from the shop again. On Friday, torrential rain, but I needed to get to Village Greens as friends were coming for tea. A baguette and a few things from the deli counter were on my list. The variety of burrito and wraps made choosing difficult (Julie was very patient). I finally decided on six to cut into halves so my guests have more to choose! At the till I spied the Olive and Rosemary bread that looked so tempting, I got that, too. 

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