Waldron shop celebrates first birthday

A VILLAGE store – the only one for miles around – is defying gloomy economic predictions and celebrating its first birthday with an upsurge in trade.

Jasons of Waldron, an offshoot of the successful Mayfield store, opened for business in November 2010. The store is next door to village pub, The Star Inn.

To begin with the store offered a wide selection of fresh produce including locally produced meats and sausages, cheeses, fresh vegetables, preserves, dairy goods and delicatessen goodies. As the year went on, manager Lindsay Browning extended its services to include afternoon teas and freshly made coffee – including takeaways.

An innovation this summer was the introduction of the ‘Cook’ range of frozen meals. Now Lindsey offers a full breakfast and light luncheon service with bacon and eggs done loads of ways or paninis and sandwiches.

Lindsey used to work at Heaven Farm, Danehill and some customers followed her to Waldron but she’s built up a loyal clientele from the village itself. She said: “I’ve even got regular customers coming from Westham and Eastbourne.”

Local resident and producer of village pageants and plays, Valerie Chidson said: “It’s lovely to have something successful amongst the general gloom and doom. This is the perfect village shop and a lovely meeting place for all and sundry as well as the place we put up our information for what’s on in the village.”

Waldron itself is gearing up for the festive season with its celebration programme entitled A Village Christmas. This includes a concert of music and legends on December 16, an outdoor Christmas market with enchanted grotto, Santa’s Workshop and an entertainer the following day. On December 18 The Wakin’ Snakes entertain in The Star Inn and at 6.30pm the Service of Nine Lessons and Carols will be held in All Saints Church. On November 19 there is a Walking Nativity which brings the Bible story to life.