Milk retailer Gareth Williams, a councillor on Mold Town Council, had to adapt his business quickly when his main customers – hotels, restaurants and pubs in the area – closed overnight due to Covid-19. With fellow councillor Karen Hodgkinson they realised there was an urgent need for a non-profit making community shop to service Mold.
There are some people in Mold who are physically unable or too fearful to leave their homes and go out food shopping. Some of the large national supermarket chains in Mold were not taking orders from new customers, and their delivery dates for existing customers could be anything up to three weeks.
In Mold, the Daniel Owen Centre had to close its well-used café and room hire to the public, so the Daniel Owen Centre Association offered to let Gareth and Karen run a community shop from there. Within five days Mold Community Shop was up and running. Following the Government’s advice to ‘stay at home’, the Community Shop evolved into predominantly an order and delivery service, with a few customers still using it as a shop.
Four other volunteers are involved with the project, making six in total. Another Mold Town Councillor, Trevor Arnold, is one of two delivery drivers along with Karen’s husband, Ian. Her daughter Rhiannon is one of the two pickers and checkers, with Paula Blythyn.
Gareth said, “We’ve been inundated with offers of help from volunteers, but made the decision to keep it tight to minimise the risk from the disease. As a business man all I want to do is cover my running costs and support our local community. We started out selling 10 or 12 different basic food products, we now have 30 products and an open invitation to more local producers to get in touch, so we can sell their products too.
“I try and source food from local suppliers as it’s important to support the local economy. Fresh fruit and vegetables come from Jones and Price in Mold, milk and dairy from my existing suppliers, bread from Henllan Bakery in Denbigh, and bacon from Corwen.
“In the first month we made 500 deliveries, which is up to about 30 a day now. We offer free deliveries to households in Mold and charge £2.50 for deliveries in a four-mile radius of town to cover the volunteer drivers’ fuel costs. We have several customers for instance in Gwernymynydd.”
The shop is open 10am to 3pm, Monday to Saturday and orders can be placed by calling 01352 754792 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org