Local life - Aldford Village Store

Emma, Lily, Will and Harry Jones of Aldford Village Store and Lily's Coffee Shop

Emma, Lily, Will and Harry Jones of Aldford Village Store and Lily's Coffee Shop - Credit: Archant

Putting the spotlight on retailers whose business is an important part of the community

It was two years ago that Emma and Will Jones saw a newspaper advert offering the opportunity to run their own shop.

Now they are the proud proprietors of the Aldford Village Store on the Green Lake Lane on the Eaton Estate, near Chester.

Emma and Will have created a picturesque shop and cafe, offering locals all the basics but with a large helping of artisan produce too.

‘It’s a bit of a farm shop, a coffee shop and village store,’ agrees Emma, mother of Lily, aged 11, and Harry, six .

‘The previous owners had it for 21 years before they retired and they still live in the village. ‘Meanwhile we are now on the site of an old disused barn, which was more recently used as a forestry yard. There are two more retail units on the site and four flats have been developed here as well so it is quite different from the previous village store.’

Emma explains that the Estate wanted the shop to be first and foremost a community hub and a rendezvous where residents could pick up everyday products such as washing up liquid, bread, tea bags, milk and the papers.

‘There is also the Farm Shop section stocked with lots of local produce as well as products from producers further afield so that people can find something a little different than in the other local stores,’ says Emma.

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‘I am a baker so I bake all the cakes for the cafe. We also have lunch platters and competitively priced sandwiches, including our sausage and bacon baps which have been a little bit talked about!’

‘People have said they are too cheap at £2.50 but we are catering for the local workers. And that’s why we’re here fundamentally, for the estate workers and the villagers.’

The cafe named after their daughter, Lily, is a lovely space. ‘It’s somewhere to sit with the papers and enjoy the peace and quiet,’ says Emma.