Words by Ken Bennett
AN ENTERPRISING village store owner has claimed a top accolade – just nine months after taking over the business.
Anna Roscoe’s stylish Dobcross Village Store and Post Office has received a commendation in the premier Countryside Alliance Awards.
Anna was one of only four village shop/post offices to make the shortlist in the speciality section of the scheme which attracted more than 11,000 nominations overall.
Nicknamed the ‘Rural Oscars’, the awards returned for their 13th year supporting rural businesses.
Anna and her Woods Lane store were praised by Sarah Lee, the Countryside Alliance Director, who said: “Your commendation is a testament to your importance in the community.
“The awards have generated a real ‘feel good’ factor across all nominees in the community and we hope you go one better in the 2018 competition.”
Anna was recognised as one of the North of England finalists for the skills and produce, tradition and enterprise for “people who go the extra mile for their communities”.
She said: “Coming up to the end of our first year in the shop it has been an eventful one.
“The old Post Office was closed for refurbishment in August and reopened transformed.
“Our aim was to recreate a proper village shop. We now stock fresh food, hot drinks, speciality freezer range and wide selection of beers and wines.
“The shop is much busier than previously with footfall to the Post Office counter increasing by over 200 per-cent,” she said proudly.
“We would like to thank everyone for their custom, kind comments, gifts, cards and general support during the year. We have been bowled over.
“We have had many special moments but one that stands out for me was when a young boy came in with his Dad soon after the refurbishment and said ‘Dad, the shop looks like Dobcross now.’
“Job done, we agree – a shop to match the village. A shop that will now stay for many years to come,” Anna added.
Paul Clegg, chair of the Dobcross Village Community Executive, said: “Anna and her team have brought new life to the village.”
Other categories are in the Awards were: Local food/ drink; Britain’s Best Butcher; Rural Enterprise and Britain’s Best Pub.