Describe your project
The Ilmington Community Shop and café was founded in 2014 based in the old catholic church in the village of Ilmington. Being an old building that has no temperature control, results in high temperatures in the summer. As a result, some of our fruit and vegetables ripen quickly making their shelf life short. The result is unappealing fruit and vegetables that require a level of discount and sometimes waste. Our project is to invest in a specific fruit and vegetable chiller which combines both good presentation and an appropriate temperature control around the fruit and vegetables to improve shelf life and quality. The intention is to improve the quality of the produce and reduce the waste and discount currently occurring.
How will your project benefit your local community?
The community shop and café make a significant contribution to the community of Ilmington. The shop is the hub of the village providing local and convenient access to groceries including fresh meat, fruit and vegetables. A fish van from Grimsby visits once a week and a range of other services including a post office (twice a week) are available. It is more than a shop being also a community centre for meeting and talking (over a coffee and cake). The business model relies heavily of volunteers to run the shop, under the guidance of the shop manager as well as other roles maintaining the grounds and infrastructure, helping in the café and delivering groceries to the elderly or disabled in the village. The challenge for the community shop and café is to provide and develop these range of services as efficiently as possible to ensure that the financial results allow for this development and the ongoing viability of the shop and café for the benefit of the community. This project directly supports this objective by increasing the shelf life and quality of our fruit and vegetables and reducing discounts and waste.
Please give details of any support you have from your local community
The community café and shop are a cooperative owned by around 400 local people. The community is consulted via an annual general meeting and members are encouraged to join the management committee that manages the shop and café. The community shop and café are dependent on around 100 volunteers who are an integral part of the community shop and café – they are consulted on an informal and formal basis about plans and are also encouraged to make suggestions for improvements.
How big is your community? And how many people will benefit from your project?
Directly those that visit the community shop to purchase fruit and vegetables. Indirectly those that wish to maintain a financially viable community shop and café in the village of Ilmington. Estimate 500 to 1000 people.
Tell us what you intend to spend the money on.
The project cost is £4500 of which we are requesting funding of £2500. £2000 of the project costs have been raised through donations and fund raising within the village. The project covers the replacement of our existing ambient fruit and vegetable display with a fruit and vegetable chiller. The supplier / unit we have identified is an Arneg WELS unit at a cost of £3995. A picture of the existing fruit and vegetable display and the proposed chiller is included in the photos provided. We have undertaken research into options available and believe that this provides both the right temperature control but also an appropriate and inviting display of fruit and vegetables. For fruit and vegetables that are ideally stored at higher temperatures e.g. bananas these will be displayed away from the new chiller. A further £505 has been budgeted to provide additional display boxes.
When and why was your project founded?
The project was founded in 2018 following the very hot summer and the effect that this was having on the shelf life of our fruit and vegetables. Since then an amount of research has taken place to identify a suitable fruit and vegetable chiller.