We use this page to post the articles the Chair of our Committee writes in the village Newsletter, and also to alert you to other things relevant to the shop which don’t belong in the ‘newsfeed’.

Stutton Support Network

We are a ‘hub’ for the Stutton Support Network, our village’s good neighbour scheme.  We host the telephone line which is diverted to a rota of SSN co-ordinators. You may have used the Network and/or you may be one of their volunteers.  One of the things they do is give people lifts to our shop or deliver shopping.  We hope that our plans for a community cafe in our new shop will help them in the valuable work they do to reduce social isolation. If you’d like to know more about the Network, do visit their website


February/March Article in Roundabout


Probably the biggest news item to arrive in Stutton since the shock discovery that David Lock’s brassicas had club root a couple of years ago is the opening of the new shop. For a village our size it’s a major achievement and something of which we should all be proud. When the village shop closed back in 2005 it left the nearest shop two miles away in Holbrook; inconvenient for many and impossible for some, especially the elderly and those without transport. This situation was resolved by a group of residents getting together and in December 2008 the Portakabin was up and running and in to profit within a couple of years, thus enabling the repayment of the start-up loans. 

The Portakabin was an ugly duckling and it served its purpose but it wasn’t getting any younger so in the summer of 2015 the first plans began for a new shop which reached fruition with its opening on the 2nd January this year. In between times a lot of work was done: a work committee was put together, Roger Baldwin from Felixstowe was appointed architect, planning permission secured, Parky was chosen as builder, structural engineers in Hadleigh got going on their calculations and the roof structure was manufactured in Devon. Around £140,000 for the project was required. The lead contributor was Power to Change, a body who support community projects and they generously gave us £76,000. Babergh chipped in £10,000 and there were further most welcome donations from village organizations and such like. However, what is outstanding is the contributions from village and other local residents which came to in excess of £30,000. So there it now is for us all toenjoy. Everyone visiting the shop has been delighted with the new surroundings and cafe area and to complete the story, David has found the solution to his club root problem: a cocktail of lime dressing and rhubarb sticks apparently. Something to discuss in the new cafe perhaps?

Cavan Browne


November/December Article in Roundabout


December will mark the eighth anniversary of our Community Shop and during all of that time we’ve been located in our trusty Portakabin. The time to move on has now almost arrived and if all goes according to plan we hope to transfer to the new shop between Christmas and New Year. This will involve the shop being shut for a few days so I have set out below our anticipated timetable:Saturday 23rd December. Normal opening.Sunday 24th Dec. Open 9am – 12 noon. The new shop will be open prior to us moving in so do come have a look around and join us for mince pies and mulled wine.Monday 25th, Christmas Day & Tuesday 26th, Boxing Day. Closed.Wednesday 27th Open 9am – 12 noon. Our final trading day in the Portakabin. Stocktaking in the afternoon.Thursday 28th. Shop closed. Moving to the new shop.Friday 29th. Shop closed. Moving to the new shop.Saturday 30th until Monday 1st in- clusive. Shop closed.Tuesday 2nd Janu- ary we commence trading from the new shop. Normal opening hours. We apolo- gize to customers for any inconvenience caused by these moves but all being well we will be able to start 2018 in our splen- did new building.It’s a remarkable achievement with many people making contributions in so many different ways and we intend holding a proper opening party in the New Year to celebrate.And to finish, from a big event to a little coin. Please don’t forget, if you want to spend your old £1 coins in the shop we will only take them until Sunday 24th December. So get the piggy off the shelf, turn him upside down, give him a good shake and while you’re doing so remind him that he’s lucky he’s not a turkey.Wishing all our volunteers and customers a very happy Christmas and New Year,Cavan.

September/October Article in Roundabout

In the summer edition of Roundabout I mentioned that the next big thing with the new shop was the vaulted roof. This was a tad complicated to say the least.
Our architect is in Felixstowe, the structural design team in Hadleigh and the structure was then made in Crediton, Devon. Parky meanwhile looked like Wellington before the battle of Waterloo wondering where the French were with plans spread all over the place. The big day was the 18th August when a low-loader with hydraulic crane arrived from Devon and the large ridge beam and purlins were carefully lifted into position, the bolts slid into place and the steel braces tightened. Perfect fits. That was a Phew! moment as far as some of us non-builders were concerned.
Parky and his team then had the tiles on before you could snap your fingers so they are now able to get cracking on the interior. (Talking of Waterloo, Churchill had insisted that his funeral cortege left London from Waterloo although it wasn’t the obvious station. The reason? He knew De Gaulle, someone he disliked intensely, would have to be present).
The Portakabin has served us well for eight years but as the move towards the new shop gets closer we need to find someone to take the building off our hands. Externally it’s no beauty, but it’s functional and internally it provides excellent space with loads of natural light. If anyone is interested please get in touch with one of the Committee.
Finally, we’ve always got a few slots available for new volunteers in various different roles. If you’d like to give it a try please contact Sue Hewlett (Tel. 328541).
Best wishes, Cavan.

July/August Article in Roundabout

We had a fantastic response to our fundraising from the village and others and contributions often came with enthusiastic messages of encouragement. All were much appreciated. Thank you everyone.
The immediate outcome, as anyone visiting the shop can see, is that Parky, Shaun and their team were able to get started in early June. The foundations, quite deep I thought, took a day or so to dig, but it was only when a jumbo lorry turned up shortly afterwards and filled up the trenches  with concrete that I thought ‘Crikey, this is for real.’ A month later the walls are up and next comes the roof which will be interesting. Exciting times indeed.
With the new shop going up, in due course this will leave us with a redundant Portakabin which has been our home for the last eight years. If anyone would be interested in this building please let a member of the Committee know. We will not want anything for it but would expect anyone who takes it to pay for its removal.
And finally a couple of reminders, one especially pertinent as it’s holiday time when people might be away: The shop receives parcels for customers. The cost is £1 per parcel and we will require a simple form to be completed. It’s also important to have them addressed to the owner, c/o the shop, otherwise we don’t know who to contact when they arrive.
And to finish, please don’t forget that we are always pleased to hear from anyone who might be interested in becoming a volunteer. We have all sorts of people doing all sorts of things and we’re always pleased to be approached by anyone who would like to come along and help.
Best wishes and thank you for your support, Cavan.

April/May Article in Roundabout

Nearly There

March was an eventful month for our community shop as it was decision time from our two major funding hopes for the new shop.  There’s far less money out there than a few years ago so our major hope was pinned on Power to Change, a trust set up to support local community businesses, especially where there is a social benefit.  Our other hope was Babergh District Council. I am delighted to report that both organisations have given us the green light.  In achieving this success much praise is due to Jenny Morris for dealing with the extensive applications required and for presenting our history and aims so successfully.  I would also like to add that we have had most generous support from other local and village bodies plus pledges from individuals.  This brings me to the letter enclosed with this issue of Roundabout.  To reach our target of £130,000 we need a final £7,000 which represents 5.4% of the total.  The letter gives some background and, on the reverse. details of how you can make a donation if you wish to support and feel part of this exciting project for the village.  We hope you will.  With best wishes, Cavan.

NB If you’re reading this and didn’t get your letter with Roundabout, or have lost it, and would like to contribute to the new shop, please contact us here.

February/March Article in Roundabout

Who Cares Who Wins

Over last Christmas the supermarkets and discounters like Aldi engaged in an especially vigorous sparring match cutting prices to gain market share.  Whether it’s good for business or not, time will tell, but it’s certainly competitive.  But where do these pricing contests leave us?  Occasionally one of our customers will remark that such and such an item is cheaper than us in a certain supermarket, without really appreciating we are fishing in rather different ponds.  We are, above all, a community village shop, satisfying, we hope, local needs and in many instances saving a drive to the supermarket if you run out of a couple of things.  What’s more, we pride ourselves on how wide our range is and how competitive many of our prices are.  We are helped in no small measure by the jumbo retailers beating each other up.  We too take advantage of their sometimes crazy price cuts to the benefit of our customers.  So a Happy New Year to everyone and may the price wars rumble on!

Cavan Browne.



December/January Article in Roundabout

New for Old?

The ever-increasing number of houses being built on the Peninsula leaves me, and I’m sure many others, scratching our heads.  What’s more, the available facilities become increasingly inadequate. At the village level Stutton used to have separate clubs for football,tennis, bowls and cricket, and an amateur dramatic society, now all gone. Of course, we’ve still got our Community Hall, Flower Show, Church and pubs to get people together, and we’ve got our Community Shop. Unfortunately the portacabin we’ve occupied for the last eight years (it was previously part of an Ipswich primary school) was never exactly chic but is now distinctly shabby.  This is why it’s so important that we succeed in our plans to build a new one next year.  The shop is first and foremost there for village residents, young and old, so please, now that we are in the planning stage, do let us have your input. There is a box for suggestions as you come into the shop on the right hand side.

Best wishes, Cavan.

October/November Article in Roundabout

“This is such a lovely shop” I overheard someone say when I was in the shop this morning.  It turned out she was from Manningtree – so it’s not just Stutton villagers who appreciate us.

Our plans for the much-needed new building are proceeding apace.  The big news is that we’ve now put in our application for planning permission to Babergh District Council. These plans are based on the drawing which is displayed in the shop, from which you will see that we hope to have a slightly bigger shop, with much better storage, and a proper coffee area – with a deck accessed through bi-folding doors.  It should be a lovely light and airy space to be.

Thank you to those who have given us their comments and suggestions on the plans so far – do keep them coming.

We’re now starting to apply for grant funding to enable us to make the new shop a reality.  Potential funders expect us to raise some of the money from within our local community – so we’re planning to ask for pledges of support (which will only be redeemed once we know we can go ahead).  You’ll be hearing more about this very soon!

Best wishes,

The Shop Committee

August/September Article in Roundabout

Sharp eyed visitors to the Flower Show might have noticed a series of posts which have recently been knocked in to the ground just to the west of the present shop. We are presently moving gently forward in our discussions with the Community Hall Committee but the posts are there mainly for the benefit of the Charity Commissioners. They have the ultimate say and their approval must be granted before we can move on. So progress is being made but each hurdle has to be jumped in turn. There are draft plans presently on show as you enter the shop and a box for your comments and suggestions. Please do take a few moments to have a look and let us know what you think as we hope it will not be too long before we get on to applying for planning permission. It’s been rather a crazy summer so far in a number of ways but one high point was Andy Murray’s terrific win at Wimbledon. How tennis players cope with the inane questions they are asked by interviewers is beyond me: ‘Do you think serving aces helped you win?’ etc., but I was amused by Murray’s reply to a question on how he ate strawberries; apparently both Djokovic and Federer replied ‘with cream’ but for Murray it was ‘with myfingers’ ….. Now is strawberry time and no matter how you eat yours, do come and try some of ours. Last week we were cheaper than Sainsbury’s!

Best wishes, Cavan.