Great Rock shop to open as planned

Jonathan Stansfield, Debbie McCall and Annette Williams of Great Rock co-op                      Picture: Craig Shaw, Blu Planet Photography
Jonathan Stansfield, Debbie McCall and Annette Williams of Great Rock co-op Picture: Craig Shaw, Blu Planet Photography

Despite the unseasonal wintry weather the Great Rock Co-op Shop at Staups Lea Farm near Blackshaw Head will open tomorrow (Saturday, 10am to 2pm).

Farm fresh meats, local cheeses, hand-made bread and cakes, jams and preserves are among the local produce on offer.

Old favourite Bridestones Beer will be on sale, alongside a very welcome newcomer Luddenden Valley Wines who make wines and liqueurs from home-grown fruit and berries.

“It’s taken a lot of work but we’re sure it’s going to be a real asset to the local community and will inspire small producers to have a go at selling their goods,” says group member and smallholder, Lucy Brill. “Importantly, it keeps money in our local economy.”

Interested in cutting food miles and supporting local food producers, a small group began with table-top selling and promotion of local food at various community events. It became clear that there was great demand for authentic, local food so opening a shop was the obvious next step. Staups Lea Farm on the outskirts of Blackshaw Head provided a space.

As an Industrial Provident Society, the shop is a not-for-profit co-operative. A £2,000 grant from the Community Foundation for Calderdale helped make the project become a reality, funding the fitting of and equipment for the shop.

“Most of Great Rock Co-op’s produce, including some fantastic local arts and craft items, come from within a few miles of the shop,” says group member Annette Williams. “You can be confident that you’re buying quality goods, while supporting local start-up enterprises.”

The shop will be open from 10am until 2pm every Saturday from March 23 at Staups Lea Farm, OL14 8RR. More information at www.greatrockcoop.co.uk or on the Great Rock Co-op Facebook page.