Our address is:
Toppesfield Community Stores
Essex CO9 4DR
Telephone: 01787 236003
The shop is open from 8-1 and 2-5:30 Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 8-1 on Wednesday and 9:00-12:30 on Saturdays. The Post Office is open weekday mornings from 9 and also Saturday morning and offers a huge range of products and services (not just stamps!!).
Many customers describe Toppesfield Community Stores as an “Aladdin’s Cave” because of the wide range of stock packed into such a small area. The range includes everything you would expect plus many lines you wouldn’t - even mousetraps, key-rings and shoelaces plus lots of other daily necessities! Wherever possible, we have local suppliers for bacon, sausages, cheese, bread, milk, cold meats, jams, chutneys/pickles, fruit/vegetables and juice.
In the garden, we offer a range of seasonal plants and flowers from a local nursery, and we carry ranges of seasonal goods plus produce from villagers’ gardens and allotments. Once per month from spring to autumn, we hold a Gardeners’ Market and Magazine Swap where locals can swap or barter for plants, plant pots, garden equipment, produce, preserves and magazines.
We are happy to make up orders of food whether it is a box of fresh vegetables and fruit or a welcome home box of fresh bread, milk, bacon and eggs for you to collect on returning from holiday. Please just ask – we will always try to help.
Weekly orders can be placed for fruit & vegetables, dairy products, fresh meats, bread etc. Again, please just ask!
Background to Toppesfield Village Shop
Toppesfield is a few miles from neighbouring villages, and public transport consists of three buses a week to the nearest market towns. In 2001, when the village shop and post office suddenly closed, it was a disaster. An action group, initiated by the then-Parish Council, quickly established an interim shop in a Portacabin, and set about fact-finding and awareness-raising. A Public Meeting was called and villagers voted overwhelmingly to establish a Community Shop, to be built at the front of the village hall. It would be run by a not-for-profit Provident Society.
Sixteen months later a neat, bright, village-owned shop with an up-to-date Post Office cabin, built on land secured by a 99 year lease. It was opened in October 2003 by the then Chief Executive of the Post Office, David Mills.
Toppesfield Stores and Post Office is now the well-established “pop-in” place for shopping, news, post, directions, pensions, leaving messages, meeting friends, paying bills, asking advice………and lots more
Toppesfield Community Village Shop Association Ltd. Is registered (number 29302R) pursuant to the Industrial and Provident Societies Acts 1965-1978, and the Shares are issued in compliance with and subject to the provisions of the Society’s registered rules.
Shares are available for a minimum of £5 per share and there is no maximum shareholding – people may be as generous as they wish! Shareholders may vote at the AGM but no dividends are paid.
The shop is run entirely by volunteers on a not-for-profit basis. Any surplus funds remaining after contingency sums are deducted are used to support other village groups, thus strengthening and enriching village life wherever possible.
The shop is managed by a committee which is elected by shareholders each year at the AGM. All committee members are also active shop volunteers and are unpaid. We are always looking for people to join our team of volunteers and to join our committee, so if you’re interested, please contact us.
The Post Office is run separately but combines with the shop to form the natural meeting place for news and conversation to be exchanged across all age ranges.
New villagers can quickly make friends and learn how things work by becoming a volunteer thus helping keep the village alive and thriving.
Our youngest volunteer (on work experience with her Gran) was 16….with job-seekers, new graduates, young Mums, early and late retirees giving a wide age range of helpers. All get together for supper evenings and an annual BBQ as a thank you for their efforts.