Edward White has created a stunning farm shop-style Spar store in the Derbyshire village of Calver. The shop measures just under 3,000sq ft and faces Edward’s Spar forecourt, which has been in the family since 1957. The new store draws on the heritage of the family business, while tapping into demand for locally-sourced products. It opened its doors at the end of August and has already achieved an average basket spend of £15, turning over £35,000. Edward describes setting up the store as “the chance of a lifetime” and is confident turnover will hit £40,000 within a year
- Edward decided to create a dedicated alcohol section at the back of the store to draw people into the shop. He opted to keep the building’s original flagstone flooring for the area, differentiating it from the rest of the store.
- Customers are spoilt for choice with 5m of chilled wines and beers. Every chiller has energy-efficient doors.
- Much of the wine is sourced from John Hattersley Wines in Bakewell. The firm supplies descriptive labelling, including tasting notes and food pairings.
- Peak Ales are brewed just over three miles away on the Chatsworth Estate. “They wrote to me to say they are reducing their prices because of the volume we’re selling,” grins Edward. “We’re going to make an even bigger feature of local sourcing now - customers really like it.”
- The tables were bought from a local store and painted to give them a farmhouse feel. They are used to display premium priced gifting items such as Walker’s Nonsuch toffee, Hogan’s cider and Collitali olive oil spray, which appeal to the store’s affluent customer base. Premium wines are placed in straw-filled wicker baskets under the tables.
- For keen cooks, the store also boasts an attractive oil and vinegar dispenser where staff will fill customers’ containers for them. A 200ml
- A 240sq ft section of the store is dedicated to baked goods, featuring row upon row of freshly baked breads such as tiger rolls, harvest grain baguettes and cheese bread, which are baked fresh every morning.
- In addition to the store’s own baked range, the section has a strong range from the nearby Bakewell Bakery. “People can now come here instead of going to Bakewell, which is four miles away,” says Edward. Shoppers can choose from a wide selection of items, including luxury scones, carrot cake and flat breads.
- Sandwiches are freshly made by the store every day. “It’s good in terms of margins and wastage as if I have meat going out of date, we just turn it into sandwiches,” says Edward. “You’re looking at a 60% margin,” he adds.
The new store has been a resounding success with Calver locals. Before now, the nearest place to shop was four miles away in Bakewell where customers were charged for their parking, whereas Spar Calver has a large, free car park. Linda Challis has become a regular and is delighted with the new local shop. “Everyone was hoping that a Waitrose would open up here so that we could have more range of products,” she says. “But this is even better. And the fact that they are supporting local suppliers is brilliant. They are much better than mass manufactured brands.”
Catering for all
The store’s mini trolleys help to make shopping more fun for little people, while elderly customers are particularly keen on the store’s loose fruit and veg, which is sourced from a local supplier. “Older people would rather come in every day and buy a few vegetables each time,” says supervisor Linda Furness.
A big focus of the latest generation of Spar stores is to ensure that customers recognise their independence. There are two plaques inside carrying quotes from Edward, and a further plaque by the entrance, telling shoppers that the business has been in the family for three generations.