The Southern Co-operative Celebrates 200th Food Store Opening in Home City of Portsmouth

The Southern Co-operative opened its landmark 200th convenience store on London Road in Purbrook, Portsmouth yesterday in the city the business was originally established in in 1873.

The grand opening was celebrated with a ribbon cutting ceremony, a giveaway of 200 bottles of Prosecco, 200 cupcakes, plenty of balloons and a £500 donation to the nearby charity, The Rowan’s Hospice.

The Southern Co-operative Food Store in Purbrook is officially opened by the Rowan’s Hospice, Duty Manager Nick Simms (centre right) and The Southern Co-operative colleagues.

The Southern Co-operative Food Store in Purbrook is officially opened by the Rowan’s Hospice, Duty Manager Nick Simms (centre right) and The Southern Co-operative colleagues.

Nick Simms, Duty Manager for The Southern Co-operative Store in Purbrook said: “My colleagues and I are absolutely thrilled to be part of The Southern Co-operative’s 200th food store opening in Purbrook and all the celebrations! The business originated in Portsmouth 143 years ago and it is extremely fitting that the 200th store should be situated so close to our business’ home city. It has been really wonderful to invite the Rowan’s Hospice to celebrate this landmark with us, the work they do is extremely important within our store’s local community and we look forward to continuing to work with and support them in the near future.”

Formerly known as the Portsea Island Mutual Co-operative (PIMCO), The Southern Co-operative’s history is steeped within the Portsmouth community, with its first food store opening in Charles Street, Portsmouth 143 years ago on the 9th May 1873.

Over the years, The Southern Co-operative has continued to be run by local people, for local people, and provides dividend ‘divi’ payments (today known as ‘Share of the Profits’) to all of its members. The society’s core focus has always been to benefit and help its operating communities as much as possible, including contributing more than £955,000 to these communities in 2015.

As part of the new store opening, The Southern Co-operative donated £500 to The Rowan’s Hospice, a local charity in Purbrook dedicated to improving the lives of people with cancer and other life-limiting illnesses.

Amanda Clapham, Director of Marketing & Income Generation for The Rowan’s Hospice said: “We are thrilled and delighted to be invited to help open The Southern Co-operative’s new shop in Purbrook. We wish you every success with what will be your 200th store. Thank you for your generous donation of £500 to Rowans Hospice, which will help us provide vital services to patients, their families and carers within the communities of Portsmouth and South East Hampshire. We are most grateful.”

Children from the local community enjoy free cupcakes from The Southern Co-operative’s 200th food store in Purbrook.

Children from the local community enjoy free cupcakes from The Southern Co-operative’s 200th food store in Purbrook.

The Southern Co-operative’s new store is home to a large range of fresh produce and chilled food options, an array of pastries freshly baked and available in-store every day and a hot food and coffee takeaway deal for £2.00. The community food store will be open from 6am until 11pm, seven days a week with plenty of parking available.