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Convenience congregation in Cornwall

A derelict church hall in Cornwall has undergone an astonishing transformation over the space of just three months and has now opened as a 2,000 sq.ft. Nisa Local convenience store.

Phoenix Stores in Nanpean, near Saint Austell, is the second Nisa store for experienced retailer Gary Batten who has worked within the sector for 35 years.

Work began on the building in the first week of January with a complete renovation required to turn it into a fully functioning, modern store with a full convenience offering.

Commenting on the development, Gary said: “I still can’t really believe what we have today compared to what it was like – and in such a quick turnaround. The entire building had been left untouched for 30 years and was in a real state so there was a lot of work to be done.”

The shop, which opened its doors at the end of March, has a strong focus on food to go including freshly made pizzas – to buy per slice or whole and Cornish Pasties - more than 1,000 were baked in just three hours on opening day!

As well as a strong offering of Co-op own label goods, the store boasts both coffee and slush machines and incorporates a range of local products in store including the hugely popular Kernow pork and Rattler Cyder sausages.

And with 17 metres of chill and freeze, with the latest, energy saving doored chillers, the range of fresh produce is outstanding and a real footfall driver.

“New shoppers are coming in every day and are delighted by the store and the choice. We are pulling in trade from all the surrounding villages and people are actively choosing to shop with us rather than at competitors because of our great range which is better than anywhere else locally,” said Gary.

It is still early days for Phoenix Stores but with turnover currently hitting almost £18,000 per week and sales growing by the day, the future looks bright, said Gary.