Plans are underway for a convenience store and petrol station in Guildford to get a new look as it passes hands from one independent retailer to another.
Thousands of pounds worth of food and other goods will be donated to North Guildford Foodbank, The Hive, and The Salvation Army as part of changes to the store in 45 Woodbridge Road.
Currently closed for alterations, the running of the store has passed over to Southern Co-op – the regional, independent co-operative based in Portsmouth.
With the store having been part of the previous owner’s family for 25 years, Southern Co-op hopes to build on their success and hard work by continuing all of the existing popular products, such as COOK ready meals.
There will also be new environmentally-responsible additions such as a soft plastic recycling point making all Co-op branded food packaging easy to recycle in the Guildford area.
Tony Scott, Southern Co-op’s Area Manager, said: “We are really happy to be able to retain the sense of independence in this store whilst bringing in some new sustainable elements which we hope the local residents will value.
“It is also an added bonus to be able to make such a considerable donation ahead of the reopening to the local foodbank – which is relied on by so many people at the moment. This support will be ongoing with a collection point in store for customers who wish to donate to North Guildford Foodbank.”
The new look store will reopen on 21 December and will keep the existing opening hours – Monday to Saturday 6am to midnight, and Sundays 7am to 11pm.
Rahul Shah, who previously ran the store with his father, said: “We are pleased to be passing the running of the store to a team which is based just down the road. Southern Co-op has a strong community ethos so we hope that this change will be good for the local residents and a positive alternative.
“It was time for my father to take a step back but the store will continue to meet people’s needs – whether they need a pint of milk or a choice of locally produced food.”
The range will include an in store bakery, a range of hot food and drinks to takeaway, fresh fruit and vegetables, Amazon lockers and Southern Co-op’s Local Flavours range.
As part of Southern Co-op’s commitment to tackling climate change, the store will include eco-friendly technology such as LED lighting, a building management system to reduce electricity use, and electronic shelf edge labels which reduces paper wastage.
All single use carrier bags will be compostable and the only alternatives being long lasting fold away bags and large shoppers.
To find out more about Southern Co-op, visit https://southern.coop/.