Co-op store in Fishponds reopening today after £600k refurbishment

The official opening of the new Co-op at Straits Parade.  Store manager Colston Davidge (front left) presents Bob Netherway with some flowers and a bottle of champagne with David Langham (front right), Co-operative Committee member and staff from the shop back row, from left, Venh-Zen Vong, Pam Hutter, Alex Cockburn, Scott Watson, Dave Watson, Rachael Keen, Sue Pope and Carol Vardon.

Store manager Colston Davidge (front left) presents Bob Netherway with flowers and champagne, with David Langham (front right), Co-operative Committee member and staff from the shop (back row, from left) Venh-Zen Vong, Pam Hutter, Alex Cockburn, Scott Watson, Dave Watson, Rachael Keen, Sue Pope and Carol Vardon

The Co-op Food store in Straits Parade, Fishponds, reopened today after a refurbishment costing almost £600,000.

The Co-op says the transformation has creates an “entirely new shopping experience for customers”.

Local man Bob Netherway, who is visually impaired in both eyes due to glaucoma, was invited to open the store. Manager Colston Davidge said: “Bob is known well in the area, everyone knows who he is.

“He is helpful, nice and he is the kind of guy you associate with the word ‘community’.”

Mr Davidge said the new store had a focus on meal ideas, essentials and healthy, fresh foods, with ideas and tips on every aisle. Staff at the store have received additional training to enable them to provide expert advice.

As part of the £587,000 investment, the in-store bakery has been increased, and there are extended ranges of fresh produce, ready meals and pizzas.

Mr Davidge added: “As a co-operative, our staff and members play an active role in the areas in which we trade, and the new store will embrace the fantastic community spirit.  Customers will be able to find out what is going on locally, list their own events on a new calendar board and find out more about how The Co-operative’s Community Fund can benefit local groups.”