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The village shop 

Pablo and Rosa owned a small shop in a Canarian coastal village with an apartment above their shop. The building had been inherited from Pablo’s father some years previously. The shop was named Pablo’s Mini Mercado and had a good reputation among the people in the neighbourhood. The small business made sufficient profit to keep Pablo, his wife and his daughter quite comfortably. Sadly however, over the last few months profits had slowly become less. Pablo was worried and became a different, less cheerful man until Rosa hardly recognized him and the easy going husband she once knew.

Pablo’s daughter, Martina figured the whole thing out. She had heard great stories from her school friends about a new supermarket which sold absolutely everything, even some items from other countries. It was situated down the hill at the far end of their village and out of curiosity everyone was going to shop there. It proved to be a strong talking point and views were exchanged, some shoppers approved but others were doubtful.

The older end were always wary of change. Martina told her father and his worst fears were justified but he tried to remain calm.

“We have to sit down and give this matter some serious thought because I feel that there is no easy solution” he said. Pablo, Rosa and Martina put their heads together and thought about various ideas to save their precious business from going down the drain.

Finally Pablo said ” I think we should start selling cut flowers because there is no florist in our village” Rosa joined in by saying ” I will bake a batch of small cakes each day and Martina can decorate them with icing sugar and chocolate”. Within the space of a week some customers slowly trickled back, some to buy flowers for their loved ones, others to sample the delicious homemade cakes.

The following week Rosa was sweeping the shop floor when the broom bristles caught against something. She bent down and found a slim gold bracelet under the edge of the fridge freezer. She called out in surprise which made Martina jump out of her skin. “Look what I’ve found, I wonder who it belongs to?” said her mother. Martina was full of admiration and wanted to keep it but her mother wrapped it in paper and stored it in a drawer under the counter. “I am sure it will be claimed sooner or later” she said.

Two days later, Hugo the landlord of the house next door and his wife walked into the shop. They asked if a bracelet had been found because after making enquires in several places there was no trace of it. Hugo told Rosa “This is the last port of call”. Rosa brought the treasured bracelet out from beneath the counter with a flourish and Hugo and his wife were overjoyed. “It is of great sentimental value to us and we would like to reward you” Hugo said to Pablo. I have a tenant in my apartment next door to you but the salon has never been used. If you would like to rent it at a special low price, I will let you have it rent free for the first six months. You can buy extra supplies for your shop and use it as a storeroom”. Pablo was over whelmed with gratitude and he could not thank Hugo enough.

The next day was Sunday and after the family had attended the village church in San Blas plaza, Pablo told his cousin Pedro the good news. Pedro worked in the bank in Los Cristianos and Pablo admired him for his common sense and good judgement. After hearing about Pablo wanting to increase his shop supplies but not having enough ready cash to do so, Pedro offered to lend a sum of money to tide Pablo over. The loan was on the understanding that Pablo branched out and bought more up to date supplies which would appeal to every’age group. ” You have to change the old ways for the new” said Pedro, ” Your shop is close to schools, bus stops, bars and restaurants, in a good central position. The new shop is at the bottom of the steep hill which makes it difficult for older people carrying bags full of shopping, I also know that some your valued customers are allowed to pay you at the end of the week if they are short of cash, which they very much appreciate.

You have many advantages, so think positive”

Pablo went ahead with his plans during the next six months and gradually his business picked up. The dark clouds had passed away and the future looked much brighter.

Approximately one year later, the rival shop closed and moved to better premises in the next coastal town.