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PLEASE NOTE – THERE WILL BE A LEAVING PARTY FOR ELLEN ON FRIDAY 10TH MAY, 6.30 TO 8.30 IN THE BROAD CHALKE VILLAGE HALL. THIS IS A REAL OPPORTUNITY TO THANK ELLEN PUBLICLY SO WE HOPE AS MANY OF YOU AS POSSIBLE WILL BE ABLE TO ATTEND.
The Chalke Valley Stores, known locally as the HUB, is situated in the United Reformed Church in the centre of the village of Broad Chalke in the heart of the beautiful Chalke Valley, officially designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It comprises a Shop, a Post Office and a Coffee Shop.
In addition to providing a service to the local villages, we also welcome visitors from all over the country – indeed increasingly from all over the world. Many come to the Chalke Valley to explore the area which is rich in history and has many places of great interest to visit as well as events to attend.
Ellen Smets, the HUB’s manager, is supported by Judith, Sharon and Sarah plus a large team of volunteers whose involvement adds to a strong sense of community and helps make the experience of visiting the HUB extremely relaxed, and the welcome genuinely warm and friendly. Wherever possible our products are sourced from small local growers and suppliers who are dedicated to the use of fresh ingredients and very often to traditional methods of production.
Residents of the Chalke Valley use the HUB for their essential shopping as we sell a wide variety of household goods, stationery, fresh meats and vegetables as well as drinks and take-away snacks. Others use it for a coffee in the morning, a light meal of homemade soup at lunch time or tea with fresh cakes and scones in the afternoon. In addition the Post Office provides a full range of postal, banking and foreign exchange services.
“The flowers of early spring occupy places in our hearts that are well out of proportion to their size”. (Gertrude S.Wister)
With spring in the air there is as always much going on at the HUB especially with Easter not so far away.
In preparation for Easter the HUB will be well stocked with Easter Eggs, an ancient symbol of new life. Different sizes will be on display plus of course, a good supply of chocolates courtesy of New Forest Chocolates one of our regular and long-standing suppliers. Other suppliers chocolates will add to the variety that will be available as we approach the Easter weekend.
Look out for the Easter Simnel cake now available in the Coffee Shop. Simnel cake has been eaten since medieval times. Traditionally this rich fruit cake is topped with eleven marzipan balls to represent the twelve apostles,(minus Judas). However, today more often than not, it is eaten simply because it is just so delicious!
As always there will be a wide variety of Easter cards on sale which are on display by the Post Office counter.
Easter opening times:
We will be closed on Good Friday, open on Easter Saturday from 8.30 to 4.00 as normal, and closed on the Bank Holiday Monday.
Talking of the Post Office there are changes afoot – all positive. We are about to start a new relationship with the Post Office in Tisbury. Agreement has been reached with Ed Rigg, the proprietor,of Tisbury PO, who some of you may know, whereby he will operate our Post Office on a similar outreach basis as has been the case with our current arrangement for the past few years. Ed’s experience is matched by his enthusiasm and he will personally spend time with us particularly during the early days as the new relationship settles in.
There is a minor change to the opening times which from 8th April, will be as follows: Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 9.30 to 1.30 each day. Until then we anticipate that the current arrangement will continue as normal until Thursday 4th April.
We are shortly to become part of a scheme run by the Broad Chalke and Sixpenny Handley surgeries called The Carers Cafe run by Hazel who again many of you will know. Get togethers will now be held in the Coffee Shop in the HUB on the second Wednesday of each month from 2pm to 3pm. The first will take place on Wednesday 10th April. For more information please contact Hazel on 01722 780282.
A New Pâté Supplier. It’s always exciting when we have a new supplier. Sophie Ashworth, originally from the Basque region of South West France, but now based in Dorset, is supplying us with her delicious Fine Artisan Pork Pâté. For several generations Sophie’s family have been making Pâté from their home in France where it started as a hobby, often given as a present for friends, but then it became so popular that the family decided to market it more widely. Still made in France, Sophie supplies her unique recipe Pâté to a variety of customers in England, now including the HUB. It is branded “Maison Elhoria”, the name of her family home in France and is available in 180 gram jars at £7.00 each. Sophie says it combines particularly well with crudité in the summer or with a glass of Cote du Rhone at any time!
Sophie will be coming to the HUB on Monday March 25th when customers will be able to taste samples of her Pâté for themselves.
Two new volunteers have joined us recently which is splendid but sadly we say goodbye to Liz Barr who has been with us since the HUB opened. We thank her most sincerely for her commitment and dedication over the years which is hugely appreciated. Liz will be missed but she leaves with our best wishes and we hope she will continue to come to the HUB …in future as a customer!
Annual Members’ Meeting.
This was held on Thursday 21st March in the Broad Chalke Village Hall and was very well attended. We thank everyone who helped particularly those who provided the delicious food. Minutes of the meeting have been posted on the HUB website.
The search for Ellen’s successor.
As we know Ellen is going to be a difficult act to follow but life moves on and our recruitment drive to find her successor is in full swing. The closing date for applications has now been extended to 5th April.in order to make sure we get as full a list of suitable applicants as possible. Ellen has very kindly said she is happy to stay on until the end of May if necessary, to ensure a smooth handover. We are of course most grateful to her for her cooperation. If you know of anyone who you think might be suitable for the job do please encourage them to visit the HUB website where the application form and job description can be downloaded.
Quotes from the visitors book
“Best coffee shop in Wiltshire”
“We keep coming back because it’s so pleasant”
“Delightful, lovely food and so peaceful”
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Chalke Valley Stores
URC Chapel, High Road,
Broad Chalke, Wiltshire SP5 5EH
01722 780 998
FREE parking available outside
Monday to Friday 8.30am to 6pm
Saturday 8.30am to 4pm
Monday, Tuesday and Thursday
9am to 1pm
Monday to Saturday 9am to 4.30pm
Shop, Post Office & Coffee Shop are all closed on Bank and Public Holidays
Many of the photographs used on this website have been kindly contributed by Russell Emm and Andrew Wiltshire (www.countrysidephotography.org).