Creating 15 new jobs and using 100% renewable energy, a new co-operative store in Andover is getting ready to open its doors tomorrow, 20 January.
Colleagues at the Southern Co-op store in Andover's Picket Twenty development have already partnered with the local primary school which has been working hard to ensure local children have access to free lunches and continued support during the holidays.
The Co-operative Food - Picket Twenty will open its doors tomorrow and include a range of essential services including local products, Amazon lockers and an in store bakery as well as Hermes parcel services coming soon.
As part of Southern Co-op's commitment to reduce its carbon footprint, the store has been fitted with a range of energy saving technology including energy efficient LED lighting throughout, energy efficient refrigeration technology, and a Building Management System which switches items on and off in an automated remote way such as ovens, fridges and lighting.
Chris Gawn, Store Manager at the branch based in Eclipse House, said, 'There has been a lot of build up to this opening and we can't wait to start welcoming new customers to the store over the next few weeks.
'As soon as we started planning the opening, we got in touch with Pilgrims Cross Primary School and, at the time, it was looking for donations to pay for some children to continue school throughout the summer. It was incredibly special to be able to help with this.
'More recently we heard that the school has been supporting a number of its families during lockdown three with lunch deliveries. So we will be donating hundreds of bags for life as well as some essential food. With everything going on at the moment, this support from the school will be unbelievably important to lots of people in the local area. Thank you.'
With COVID-19 safety measures throughout, the brand new 2,422sqft convenience food store will also include a collection point where its customers can make regular donations to Andover Food Bank.
Its regular opening hours will be 7am to 10pm everyday with free car parking, takeaway food and drinks, and a range of Local Flavours products.
As part of the regional, independent co-operative's commitment to support local food and drink producers, Local Flavours products at the new store will include Claytons Eggs from Romsey, Hill Farm Juice from Swanmore, New Forest Spring Water and Summerdown chocolate mints from Basingstoke.