February Newsletter

There seem to be no shortage of challenges for Ellen in running the HUB.  The latest was the much publicised demise of Palmer & Harvey who have been our wholesale suppliers since the shop side of the business first opened. This setback came out of the blue so replacing P & H at short notice required some quick thinking and not a few trips to Salisbury by Ellen and her team. The fact that our customers probably did not notice any interruption in the supply of goods on the shelves is of great credit to them all. In the meantime Ellen has been using local suppliers which is working well so far but is not a long term solution. Discussions are well advanced in finding an alternative wholesaler who is able to provide the required level of service to small shops such as ours.

Signed copies of Through Sand & Snow written by Charlie Walker “about travel, people and adventure” during covering his epic 43,000 journey around the world on his bicycle, are now on sale in shop. Charlie who is from Bowerchalke, (when he’s at home!), has spoken at the History Festival on a couple of occasions in the past. He describes the book as “a personal story of becoming a man through a self-imposed trial of hunger, loneliness and exhaustion with moment of unparalleled joy and sublime revelation”. Well worth a read…preferably from the comfort of an armchair!

Valentine’s Day on 14th February is fast approaching and there will be a variety of appropriate cards and presents available in the shop that are ideally suited to mark this occasion.

We’re on the map for cyclists  It was all hands to the pump in readiness for over a hundred cyclists who were taking part in a 210km Ride with GPS event in mid January. All participating cyclists had to stop in the coffee shop to get a stamp and quite a few of them took the opportunity to have a coffee, some cake and in many cases a Panini and soup. The organisers had sensibly given Ellen advanced warning so everything was prepared. Fortunately they didn’t all come on at once but there were times when lycra seemed to be the required dress code!

……and more cyclists from the Christchurch Bicycle Club (founded in 1876)
In a survey amongst their membership the HUB achieved 40% of the votes cast out of a total of 61 establishments with an 80% approval rating.
As a result the HUB was voted “Best lunch stop 2017”
Many tributes were paid especially to our volunteers.  Here are a few…..
“They will volunteer to fill water bottles, provide jugs of water; the service is the friendliest ever.  We have had them come out to open the side gate to put our bikes round the back; the soups are amazing and I cannot fault them””

“The volunteers are wonderful and go of their way to be helpful”

“This is my favourite lunch stop. They are so welcoming and the soups and rolls are fabulous.  Cakes are great too. Nothing seems too much trouble and it is largely run by volunteers.  Well done all of you”:

…..and so say all of us!