Monthly reports

December 2017

November 2017

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

December 2016 / January 2017

November 2016

October 2016


I find it hard to believe that nearly a year has passed since our celebrations for our 15th Birthday. I was reminded of this yesterday, when someone who left Islip in 2006 brought her grandchildren to see the village and found to her surprise that I was still at the shop!

We were sorry this month to say goodbye to Shirley Martin, who has moved to Kidlington. She has lived here since the age of six and been a regular customer at 3.00 on a Wednesday. You could set your watch by her visit! We hope she will be very happy in her new home.

Our local food sales have continued to be fantastic, despite the lack of Rectory Farm fruit but helped by local cheese, Nodene’s cakes and flapjacks and of course Viv’s salted caramel brownies and ice creams. Emails with comments on her ice creams and sorbets include – Cointreau and chocolate swirl ice cream – “HEAVEN”

Gin and tonic sorbet – “TEACHER’S GUILT FREE FAVOURITE”

Lemon Curd – “YUMMY, SO LEMONY”

Chilli, ginger & lemongrass – “GREAT FLAVOUR & REAL KICK”

LOVE BRITISH FOOD FORTNIGHT starts on 17th September so this is a time to try as many local products as possible. Do collect a list of all the local foods we have available.

We have two new Stainswick products for sale, which we sampled at the Country File Live Show and immediately bought for the shop and ourselves! They are: Honey and mustard dressing and garlic mayonnaise. All our rapeseed products are available at very competitive prices.

We would like to thank all who have brought excess local produce to the shop. It tastes so much better when straight from the garden or allotment. If you have an excess of courgettes why not try making courgette blinis or bread. Recipes available from the shop.

With thanks to everyone for their help.
Orders to:

JULY 2016

Congratulations to all those who took part in making the Queen’s Birthday party such a wonderful success for young and old. A Great Village Event.

The asparagus season has ended but we now have Rectory Farm strawberries, gooseberries, potatoes and broad beans.  Raspberries and other soft fruit will be available shortly. The first week we were able to have strawberries, we sold 120 punnets – it must be a record! The cost of a punnet is £2.50 equivalent to £5.50 per kg which is what Rectory farm are selling them at ready picked. If you are able to order it is much appreciated, as we then have a better idea of the quantity to order at one time. This enables us to provide fresh produce and reduces the number of trips we make. All other fruit and vegetables they source locally, so do place an order for anything you require.

Islip Apple Juice is nearly sold out but we do have an assortment of dry, medium & sweet apple juice from Waterperry. The Cawston juices are also local. Apple & beetroot and apple & rhubarb are becoming more popular but the apple & ginger is the best seller.  It all depends on personal taste.

Viv’s new flavoured ice creams are proving a big hit, especially lemon curd, coffee and chilli, lemongrass & ginger. Now she is going to try sorbets.  Do you fancy any of these: mango, elderflower, beetroot & cassis, blueberry, gin & tonic, pina colada sherbert? Let me know.

Plans to create a tarmac ramp at the front door of the shop are progressing.

If you like good Olive Oil, do try the Italian organic unfiltered olive oil from Abruzzo we are stocking. The Lechino olives are grown on the steep slopes of the Calanchi Nature Reserve. They are hand-picked and taken to the family mill where they are ground using granite wheels and then slowly cold pressed, producing a highly aromatic, full-flavoured olive oil which is excellent in salads.

The Plunkett Foundation have approached us to see whether we would join their stand, in order to talk to visitors about Community shops, at the Country File Live 4-day event at Blenheim Palace at the beginning of August. We will need to create our own small display about the shop and perhaps some tastings of local produce. More news next month.

May the sun shine!

With thanks to all who contribute in so many ways,  Maralynn.

JUNE 2016

June promises to be a busy month for the village. Trade has certainly increased with some better weather, the asparagus season and in the near future, strawberries. We will then have their raspberries and other soft fruit, broad beans, carrots, beetroot and new potatoes. All other vegetables, salad & fruit they source locally, so do place orders for anything you need.

We always welcome excess local produce from your gardens or allotment for which we are willing to pay you half of what charged. Local rhubarb has been snapped up by customers already.

Customers have been pleased with their meat from Pegtop Farm, Woodeaton. They are having fresh beef available every fortnight. If you wish to be notified when it is available, please email and ask to be added to the orders group list. Bartlett’s deliver to us, as and when needed, i.e. on most days. Their home-made burgers and sausages are a must for the BBQ. Their £3.99 packs of meat and poultry are incredible value. Free-range and organic meat is also available.

Viv has come up with some new flavoured ice creams – blueberry & cassis cheesecake; lemon curd; coffee; chilli; ginger & lemongrass and chocolate orange. They are proving popular. The old favourites stem ginger, amaretto, salted caramel etc are still available. Sales of her salted caramel brownies continue to boom!

Shand’s plain and fruit flapjacks are fast becoming a best seller, only £1.50 a pack. Don’t forget you can order her large sponge cakes, Birthday & celebration cakes and gluten free cherry & almond slices and chocolate brownies. Both suppliers are willing to cater for large orders for any occasion.

We have many new cards in stock including Gwen Scott’s 3D animal cards with wobbly heads, cards of original paintings by Andrea Bates and new Vif Images cards.

Down in price by £1.00 – Stainswick Truffle oil, now only £5.50, perfect to drizzle in soup.

Laminated copies of the Heritage Trail around Islip, devised by Islip Archives, and of Confessor’s Walk are available in the shop either to be borrowed or bought.

We will be open as usual from 3.30 on Sunday 12th June after the Queen’s Birthday Party and all day from 10.00 – 5.00 on day of the Village Fete.

Many thanks to Josh Washington for his work on a new shop website. Do look at progress so far, by going to

Please email orders to


APRIL 2016

I, for one, am delighted  the clocks have changed. No more closing the shop in the dark at 6.00 for a while. Saturdays and Sundays we are now open from 3.30 to 5.00.

We are delighted to have two more family volunteers for weekends. Thanks go to Alison & Charlie Mitchell and David & William Goodfellow for joining the team. The idea of children helping has benefitted us tremendously and is, of course, so beneficial, in many ways, to the children’s education. We welcome more and how wonderful if we could find as many new volunteers for the weekdays as well. We do struggle at times to stay open. We have come a long way but still do not open all day.

Once the weather warms up hopefully, it will not be too long before the asparagus season.

Did you know that rapeseed oil is better to cook with than olive oil? This is mainly because it can be heated to a higher temperature without losing its properties. Why not try our local rapeseed oils? Extra virgin for general use, garlic oil is great used for roasting potatoes & vegetables, smoked for adding to mashed potato instead of butter or rubbing onto chicken or fish, truffle oil is a finishing oil which has a pungent mushroom/garlic flavour – amazing! Collect a leaflet about ideas for using all the infused oils. Recipes are available as well.

We also have the finest organic unfiltered olive oil from Abruzzo, Italy. The olives are hand – picked and taken immediately to the family mill, where they are simply ground using granite wheels, before being slowly cold pressed to produce a highly aromatic olive oil.

Coln Valley Dill sauce is half price at the moment, only £2.00, delicious with smoked fish.

Our two top selling home-made cakes at the moment are Nodene’s (Shands cakes) flapjacks, packet of two for only £1.50, and Viv’s salted caramel brownies. How are you enjoying her new ice cream flavours? Another in the pipeline is Popping candy! Don’t forget Nodene makes Birthday cakes to order.

We will be stock taking on Saturday 30th April so will be closing at 12.00. Sunday opening as normal.

We will be closed on Bank Holiday Mondays 2nd and 30th May.

Please send orders and enquiries to:


We have now celebrated our 15th Birthday. Many thanks to Gwen Scott, who made the delicious Birthday cake and to all those who turned up for the Oxford Mail photographer. By the time you read this the birthday celebrations will have been reported on “That’s Oxford TV”. Newspaper cuttings, photos and Doris’s poems are in the shop for you to see how the shop has developed over the years. What a transformation! It would be fantastic to have all these in a scrapbook for the future. Is this is a job you would enjoy doing at home? Let me know – we would be so grateful. The last 15 years have been a steep learning curve for us, which all involved have found very rewarding.

As usual we will be open until 7.00 on Bonfire Night. This year we will be able to enjoy looking at the Bonfire from inside the shop!
Do you have any photos of the village that you think would make a good Christmas card? We would love to produce a new one in addition to the old.

Not to be missed is our Christmas Food Fair on 21st November from 2.00 – 4.00 in the Terrace Room. This will be an ideal time to do your Christmas shopping at leisure, with all our local products available, and to think about and collect order forms for Christmas food and presents. Some of our local suppliers will be there and there will be tastings of local products. We will be using our usual suppliers for meat and poultry, fruit and vegetables, smoked fish and meat, bread, eggs, cakes, cheese, conserves etc.

As many of you know it makes Christmas very easy when you are able to come and collect everything on 23rd, with no queues and no parking problems. Christmas stamps and last posting dates will be available as soon as they are released. Avoid queues at The Post Office, especially for overseas mail. We can do it for you as long as it will go in the Post Box.

Viv’s home-made ice cream is selling well, as are her Nutella cake, salted caramel brownies and caramel shortbread squares. She has come up with a list of ice creams for Christmas and is trialling these. There will also be other delicacies, gift wrapped and ideal for presents.

Details of our donations to the community are separate in the Newsletter. Note how you benefit the wider community by patronising the shop and contributing to its funds.

With thanks to everyone for their help.
Orders to:


Very many thanks to our Committee and small band of volunteers who did so much extra in keeping the shop running while I was on holiday.

British Food Fortnight began on 19th September and ends on 4th October, so it is not too late to celebrate this by buying British, especially local foods of which we now have a good number. Try some of our recipes, available at the shop, which use local
I have been approached by someone in Beckley about stocking her home-made ice cream, ten kinds in all. They sound very tempting and include Butterscotch Pecan, Amaretto Biscotti, Tiramisu and Chocolate Chilli. A full list is available online or at the shop. Do let me know if you are interested and place an order.

Rectory Farm 12.5 and 25kg sacks of potatoes are now available, so do order. Varieties are Saxon, Wilja, both whites, and Desiree or Mozart, which are red. It is great that we have been able to have strawberries at the end of September. We really appreciate the excess local produce that people keep bringing to the shop. It quickly disappears, showing how popular it is.
This year it will be the Shop’s 15th Birthday on 14th October. I cannot believe we have been open that long and achieved what we have. We are still working on plans to improve the entrance and outside of the shop. Our main aim is to meet your needs and offer you the best service we can.

Please do come to our A G M on Tuesday 6th October at 6.30 in the Terrace Room
Our Christmas Food Fair this year is on Saturday 21st November from 2.00 – 4.00 in the Terrace Room. Do put this important date in your diary. It is a time to start and plan for Christmas, sample some of our local products and meet some of the suppliers, collect Christmas order forms and see what is available. So many of our local products make ideal Christmas presents and are available gift wrapped. We hope to have Islip Honeycomb again in a presentation box. It is so much easier to collect from us in one go rather than park and queue elsewhere.

As usual we will have Christmas stamps and can weigh and stamp your overseas cards.
Thanking you for your service. Please email me with orders or enquiries