The manager of a community shop based in Duloe has handed over the keys after 12 years of service.
Jim Eames, from Duloe, was in the navy for 32 years before retiring and becoming manager of the Duloe community shop in 2011.
Duloe shop is run by members of the community and is overseen by a committee. It is open seven days a week and offers everything shoppers would find in an everyday supermarket including locally sourced fresh fish, meat, fruit and vegetables as well as a Post Office and Amazon pick up.
Since taking on the manager role 12 years ago, Jim has worked alongside volunteers to provide for the community — even working through the pandemic and COVID lockdowns.
However, after his long service, Jim decided to step back, handing over the keys to Mandy Aggiss and Emma Hawke who took on a joint-manager role on November 8.
Jim explained: “I feel a bit sad at the moment. I didn’t think I would do but now I’ve handed over the keys it feels a little bit sad but I’ll be glad to carry on doing my bit volunteering.”
Jim still plans to volunteer on Saturdays and will be there to offer sick and holiday cover.
Chairman of the committee, Stuart Wright, said: “Jim and his wife Sue along with a very loyal group of volunteers, with whom we can’t do without, have for the last 10 years taken a community shop from a standing start to a very successful business.
“So successful now that the profits from this shop are being ploughed back into the community and we’re able to support organisations like the cricket club and we’re also providing funding towards the Duloe Community Trust.
“This couldn’t have been achieved without Jim’s guidance and leadership and the community would like to thank him for his many years of service and wish him extremely well in whatever he chooses to do. He’s not leaving the shop and he will still be here but he is stepping back from his full time role as manager and we would like to thank you for that.”
When looking back on highlights from his time as manager, Jim said: “I think the main thing is the whole community has appreciated what I’ve done. We’ve worked hard and got it to what they want. They’ve asked for the products, we got them in. The highlight is being part of the community and running the shop for them.
“I’d like to say thank you to all the community within the village who have supported me all through the years and made my job very easy especially the volunteers.”
The shop will now be running as usual but will be under the care of Mandy and Emma who are “really looking forward to supporting the community and carrying on the good work.”
Now retired, Jim has plans to begin decorating, continuing his passion for wildlife photography and keeping his allotment tidy.