During winter about 10 retirees live in the settlement of Nikolskoe (Bryansk Region). The streets are empty; there is no reason to come here, maybe only to get water. But twice a week the settlement comes to life – on Tuesday and Friday when the mobile shop-van of the Zhilyatinski Consumer Society arrives.

Early in the morning the seller, Svetlana Shevtsova, compares the list of products with the consumers’ orders. The list, however, is common: pasta, grains, vegetable oil, tea.… In special demand is herring and some of the consumer society manufacturing products: meat dumplings, cutlets, minced meat and other sub-products prepared from fresh meat purchased from the village farms, as well as baked goods, produced only in the district center Zhilyatino bakery-café “Vstrecha”. And, certainly, freshly baked bread is on the list.

The loading is finished. Products are carefully covered and at last GAZ53 rides on the forest track. Past the bend we see smoke from the settlement chimneys. The villagers move to the trading area. They know the shop-van won’’t be late.

During the trading process, Ivan Stolyarov, the driver of the van doesn’’t waste time: he gives receipts for public-service, letters and newspapers. The postal service doesn’’t arrive here – the sole link with the external world is cooperation and a mobile phone in each house.

Today the shop-van has visited the settlements of Kucheevo, Litovniki and Pavlovichi. At the end of the day the van returns to its shop “Electron” in Zhilyatino. This unusual name for a cooperative system is simply explained – the previous occupant of the building was the energy company. After the consumer society bought it, they decided not to change the name, since it was already familiar to the villagers. On its next round, the director Valentina Artamoshina will travel with the shop-van, and Svetlana will stay to work in the shop. The net profit of the shop-van is low – just 70-80 thousand per month. But people need it.

The route of the van cuts through sparsely populated areas, but with good roads, – says the Chairperson of the Board of the Zhilyatinski consumer society Tatiana Kuzicheva, – we have also another route, accessible only by horse and carriage. Twice a week the manager of the shop of the settlement Kosachi, Vitaly Tolkachov, takes a horse and delivers the goods to the adjacent settlements. In winter it sinks in the snow and in spring in the mud, but it delivers the products without fail.

The villagers awarded Vitaly Tolkachov with the “highest level order”. With pleasure Vitaly was recently awarded by the Centrosojuz of the Russian Federation, the order “For the Contribution to the Development of the Consumer Cooperation in Russia”.