Village shop wins a "rural Oscar"

A village shop in a church near Ludlow has been awarded a top prize in the Countryside Alliance Awards 2021.

Yarpole group photo
Yarpole group photo

Yarpole Community Shop, which sits between Ludlow and Leominster, is now officially the Best Village Shop and Post Office for the Midlands Region.

A spokesperson for the shop said: "This is truly a great accolade for our shop and Post Office.

"No other community enterprise has been selected more than once. Yarpole Community Shop was winner of Best Village Shop and Post Office in 2010; shortly after moving into the Church.

"We would like to thank everyone who voted for the shop... we appreciate you.

The judges thought that "Yarpole Community Shop and Post Office is a wonderful community enterprise.

"It is friendly, efficient and a great asset to the village community and beyond. Much more than a convenience store, it is the hub of the community, selling essential goods and little luxuries and freely giving friendship, companionship and cheer to everyone."

The awards, dubbed the “Rural Oscars”, recognises and celebrates the outstanding businesses and unsung heroes that go the extra mile to keep rural communities and economies ticking. This has been the most successful year to date, with 18,000 nominations.

This is not the first time that Yarpole Community Shop has celebrated such recognition, having been crowned National Winner of the Countryside Alliance Best Village Shop and Post Office in 2010. It is the only community enterprise to have been selected more than once for this prestigious award.

The shop and adjoining gallery café have a unique and beautiful setting within St Leonard’s Church in Yarpole, close to the South Shropshire/Herefordshire border.

They attract many visitors, who are impressed by the wide range of everyday and specialist products and the friendly welcome offered. Many of the products stocked are locally sourced, including fresh fruit and vegetables, bread and meat products, ciders and beers, handmade craft items and plants. The shop benefits from volunteer support and contributes surplus funds to community projects.

The shop is open Monday to Friday 9 am -1 pm, 3-5 pm and on Saturday 9-1 pm.

The Gallery Café is open Monday to Wednesday 10.30 am – 12.30 pm,

Thursday and Friday 10.30 am – 4.00 pm with light lunches 12-2 pm, Saturday 10.30 am – 12.30 pm.

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