The Wokingham Paper

The Village Hamper opens its doors on Sonning high street

Picture: Stephanie Drogemuller

POPPING to the shops has never been easier for the people of Sonning.

This is because a new convenience store has opened its doors on the village high street.

Kathy Drogemuller, owner of La Bas Co., opened her new shop called The Village Hamper on Saturday, September 5.

“I’ve lived in Sonning for 10 years and I’ve always felt that the one thing it lacks is a local convenience store,” Kathy said.

Rather than having to drive to the nearest shop, she wants the people of Sonning to be able to walk down the road to get their fresh bread, groceries, and bits and bobs for the pantry.

Kathy said the opening day “was absolutely delightful”.

“We made a good number of sales and we got some great feedback on what people want to see in the shop.

“It was a lovely day,” she said.

And there’s more than just cakes and groceries on offer.

The Village Hamper has also been set up with the environment in mind.

The store has bulk dispensers for items like pasta, flour and oats, and is avoiding plastic packaging wherever possible.

“I’ve always been an avid recycler,” Kathy added. “I’m very eco-conscious and I hope it works for customers.

“I think there’s a lot of responsibility on shops to reduce the amount of plastic packaging they use. If I can limit what goes on the shelves, I hope it will have a positive impact down the line.”

The store was initially due to open on Saturday, August 29.

However, technical issues put a spanner in the works.

On Sunday, August 30, Kathy organised a pop-up shop to showcase the freshly baked cakes that will soon be on offer in The Village Hamper.

“It was very successful,” she said. “Each day we had people lining up before we even opened.”

And after receiving a lot of requests for vegan baked goods, Kathy said that the store will be testing out a variety of recipes in order to expand the menu.

And The Village Hamper is set to expand in the future, too. At the moment, the shop offers customers a convenience store and a deli counter.

But Kathy said that soon, a tearoom will be opening for people to sit down and have coffee and cake.

Then, in spring 2021, she plans to open up the store’s rear patio so that customers can sit out in the garden too.

The Village Hamper can be found at 6 High Street, Sonning.

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