New East of England Co-op store opens in Acle after Budgens closed
- Credit: JAMES BASS PHOTOGRAPHY
Over 150 people queued up to await the opening of a new East of England Co-op supermarket in Acle.
The brand new supermarket opened on Friday, with the first 100 customers receiving golden tickets filled with mystery prizes.
The Co-op closed their smaller 'Village Store' on Thursday and moved into the former Budgens site which closed earlier this year.
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The newly renovated store in Norwich Road includes an in-store bakery, Deli to Go and home delivery service, plus an extended range of local produce, with strawberries and asparagus grown just down the road in Rollesby by The Tacons.
Customers were welcomed by a familiar team, as the staff for the new store are colleagues from both the former Budgens and Co-op Village Store.
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New store manager Peter Larke said: 'The team and I were really pleased to be able to welcome customers to their new look store, with lots of fun activities and competitions to celebrate opening day.'
The supermarket chain faced criticism from some in the village who argued pensioners would struggle to walk the extra distance to the new store.
As a result of a public meeting held in the village, the Co-op is running a free shuttle bus between the two sites over the weekend.
A community access defibrillator is also fitted to the front of the store, as part of the supermarket's Every Minute Counts campaign.
East of England Co-op members can also choose to support a charity each time they shop through the in-store Community Token Scheme.
Members can currently choose to support one of three local groups: British Divers Marine Life Rescue, Martham Neighbourhood Watch and Fairhaven Pre-School.
The groups are changed every three months, with local charities and organisations able to nominate themselves online at www.eastofengland.coop for the chance to share in £1,000.
• A free shuttle service from the former East of England Co-op Daily to the new larger store will be available till 5pm today, 9am to 4pm Saturday and 10am to 4pm on Sunday.
• The East of England Co-op Supermarket, Acle is open Monday to Saturday 7am to 10pm and Sunday 10am to 4pm.