Community Retail

Community Retail

Community Retail

CFO’s service to shops has continued to provide significant help and guidance to communities, including the impact of incorporating Post Office services within local shops. Changing economic and social factors are also making it more difficult for pubs to be maintained as sustainable businesses. To this end, CFO launched a new guide, Saving the Village Pub, to help an action group through the process of buying their local pub and maintaining it at the social heart of the community.

Oxfordshire now has over twenty community-owned shops operating or in development, most of which provide the only retail provision in the village. The level of community involvement varies widely from store to store, but the one factor that all of these enterprises has in common is that the community was not prepared to just sit back and do nothing when the village shop closed.

If your community has lost its shop, or your village shop is threatened with closure, CFO’s Community Retail Adviser is available to give one-to-one advice and guidance on how to set up and run a community-owned shop.

CFO offers personal advice and mentoring to community shop groups on:

  • How to get started
  • Premises
  • Funding
  • Legal structures
  • Business planning
  • Retail legislation
  • Involving the community
  • Volunteer training
  • Employment issues
  • Pricing policy
  • Stocking local food
  • Sustainability
  • Countywide support network

For more information contact Tessa Hall.

Recent Articles

Recent Articles

Rural Community Ownership Awards 2018

Hosted by the Plunkett Foundation, the Annual Rural Community Ownership Awards celebrate the contribution community businesses make to creating ‘resilient, thriving and inclusive rural communities’.  There were 50 applicants for the 6 different categories this year.

Huge Congratulations to the three Oxfordshire community shops who were shortlisted for the awards and to Sandford Talking Shop who in the end became the overall winners in their category of ‘The Little Things’ award.

Talking Shop, had great feedback from all their customers and this is what helped them to win the award. Here is an article in the Herald Newspaper about their success

Ewelme Village Store, were shortlisted for the People’s Choice Award because of an outstanding individual in the community who has given a lot of her time to help the business.

Appleton Community Shop were shortlisted for the ’Community Story of the Year Award’ because of all the support that they have in their community and for their coffee shop and monthly newsletter.

There are three other categories available for this award, they are

  • ‘Diversifying to make a difference’
  • ‘Investing in local people’
  • The Horace Plunkett ‘Better Business’ Award.

You can read all about the awards ceremony here

The awards are designed to celebrate both the social impact that community business’ make, which improve the wellbeing of people in the local community, and the sustainability and innovation of the business.

Some of the stories behind the winners were to keep supplying necessary items to the community even with adverse weather conditions; protecting the environment by becoming ‘plastic free’; involving the whole community in the enterprise; becoming a vital resource; tackling loneliness and isolation by becoming a village hub where people can meet and chat.

To learn more about the awards visit the Plunkett Foundation website – perhaps your local shop or bakery deserves to be entered into this year’s awards later in the year.

Volunteer in your local Community in 2019

If reading about your local community shop has inspired you, why not join the team of lively volunteers who help to keep the shop going and who make it so successful?

Community Retail Newsletters

Oxfordshire Community Shops

Community First Oxfordshire supports the following community shops in Oxfordshire:

Shop Year Established
Appleton Community Shop 2000
Ascott Community Shop 2003
Bladon – Pop up Shop held in Church rooms on Fridays 2015
Brightwell cum Sotwell Community Shop 2010
Chadlington Quality Foods 2002
Charlbury Good Food Shop 1996
Coleshill Village Shop 2004
East Hagbourne Community Shop and Post Office 2001
Ewelme Store 2009
Filkins Village Shop 2005
Finstock (Three Villages Shop) 2004
Hanney Community Shop 1986
Iffley Community Shop and PO 1999
Islip Village Shop 2000
Little Milton Shop and Post Office 2009
Marcham Community Shop and Post Office 2012
Radley Community Shop 2007
South Stoke Community Shop 2013
Tackley Village Shop and Post Office 2004
Wootton Community Shop 2007


‘The community shops advisory service has been and continues to be invaluable.’
Cherwell District Community Shop

‘CFO were a great help to the village shop group.’
South Stoke community shop volunteer

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