Rural shop in appeal to buy delivery van

Michael Fitzpatrick, owner, Shawbost Community Shop and Cafe
Michael Fitzpatrick, owner, Shawbost Community Shop and Cafe

A rural shop that opened this year is using a crowd-funding website to raise £5,000 for a delivery van to try and provide an alternative to supermarket deliveries.

Owner, Michael Fitzpatrick, told The Gazette why he decided to set up the shop: “The community wanted a shop and I was in a position to start one. There hadn’t been a shop here for around three or four years.

“We see lots of Tesco vans delivering goods around Shawbost and thought it would be a good idea to offer a community-based alternative.”

Michael is clear to emphasise that this is not a campaign against Tesco.

“We all shop at Tesco and we wouldn’t argue against them, but I think it’s healthy to have an alternative.”

Michael Weedon from the British Independent Retailers Association supports the idea behind the Shawbost project: “Small shops are too often roadkill under the wheels of huge corporate juggernauts, but their well-being is vital to the health of communities everywhere and equally so in a rural area such as Shawbost.”

Michael Fitzpatrick says it’s not all about profit: “It’s about giving us the chance to take on the big guys. It’s about offering a community service.”

To back the shop’s fund-raising campaign go to