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Entertaining Elephants in The Shropshire Hills (8th January 2013)

A well-known ethical and natural food shop in the Shrophire Hills, with one of the most colourful names on the high street, will be under new management from the start of the New Year.

Entertaining Elephants, in the market town of Church Stretton, has been supplying locals and visitors alike with natural and wholesome food for the last 13 years.

Nestling in the shadows of the Shropshire Hills, and the foot of the Long Mynd, the shop is set to be taken over in January by Joanna Bickerton, a regular customer and a retail professional of over 20 years.

Previously the Manager of the Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre, Joanna Bickerton now plans to keep the major strengths of Entertaining Elephants in place, but is also intending to make some changes to the shop interior ­ to make more of the features of the timber framed 17th century structure of the building, and to make it much easier for customers to browse the growing range of products.

The shop's main supplier is SUMA, the UK's largest working co-operative, which sources their product range ethically with the environment in mind.

They promote 'green' and healthy eating with preferences given to organic, fair trade and co-operative production.

"But I'll also be looking to develop the range of environmental and ethically sourced home accessories ­ as well as local products that fit the style and ethos of the shop," adds Joanna Bickerton.  "There's already a fantastic 'Buy Local -­ Be Sustainable' scheme in the Shropshire Hills which has been running for several years now, and which involves a large number of local businesses.  I'd love to see Entertaining Elephants become a key feature of that ­ as a focal point and as a champion for the network.'

The shop currently stocks a large range of organic bread, fair trade coffee and tea, free range eggs, olive oil and locally produced apple juice, bacon and sausages ­ as well as environmentally friendly household products.

Customer service has always been at the heart of the business, and current owners Sue Hallett and David Palmer-Jones are delighted to see their work carry on as they hand over to the new owner in the New Year.

For further information, visit www.entertaining-elephants.co.uk  

And for full details about the Shropshire Hills Sustainable Business Scheme, visit www.shropshirehills-buylocal.co.uk