When a customer is stumped for a recipe for that nice salmon fillet she's bought, Emma Gall and her mother Jill, are happy to make suggestions.
The co-managers of The Hamper also enjoy searching out new dark chocolate for a customer's cocoa craving.
Their clientele are lucky.
In the shadow of the rapacious big four supermarkets, the Galls have adapted to the harsh market climate to keep their Hagley-based delicatessen open and continue to provide an oasis of warmth, chat and wholesome food for residents.
New research to mark National Independents' Day showed they are not alone in believing they provide a service which Tesco, Sainsbury et al do not.
Of 1,100 independent grocery retailers, 55 per cent said customers visited their shops as much for conversation and local news as for groceries.
And 90 per cent said they feared for the future of British communities due to the advance of major supermarkets.
The Hamper opened 20 years ago with a vision of providing more for shoppers than basic foodstuffs and store cupboard.
"When mum started we sold a lot of smoked salmon, olive oil and balsamic vinegar," said Emma Gall, Jill's daughter and co-manager of the business. "But, in the last few years, we've seen the super-markets sourcing them for a much lower price.
"Last Christmas was particularly bad for smoked salmon sales. We also saw a drop in the sales of food gift sets, which are also being sold by supermarkets."
Now the company focuses on freshly-baked bread and cole-slaw and locally-produced non-processed hand-made products
"There's a man in Kinver trained by a Belgium chocola-tier, who makes chocolates with the chocolate imported from Belgium and we sell those," she said.
"People like to come in and have a chat about things. My mother is a chef and my father runs a restaurant so if she is selling fish she might suggest a recipe."
The 32-year-old former office manager said she hoped one day to take over the shop. "But it depends on whether the other supermarkets have taken us over," she added.
Meanwhile, the community of Dumbleton on the edge of Worcestershire got a taste of what life was like without the village shop, when after 50 years their store closed down because of supermarket competition.
They felt so strongly about it they put their money together and took it over themselves. Eight couples paid #4,000 each, while others are shareholders.
"The heart of the community was ripped out when it closed down last August," said businessman David Roscoe. "It was where people would exchange gossip - people had no reason to walk around the village any more."
Dumbleton Fine Food Company Ltd, which specialises in local produce and refreshments, has reached a compromise with Tesco.
They offer a service where they will take a list from customers and order goods on-line from Tesco, taking the opportunity to sell a couple of their own items on the way.
"The village is a mix of older residents and affluent people, who use the internet.
"We are a conduit for the older people who don't have the technology and those who are t oo busy to order it themselves."
Now less than half of the UK's convenience shops are independents.
The Forum of Private Business said it was up to the Government to stand up to the supermarkets on behalf of the consumer before it was too late.
"Until the Government plucks up the courage to stand up to the supermarkets, small retailers will continue to go to the wall," said campaign manager Victoria Carson.
"The Competition Commission is looking into the grocery market, but with continuing dominance of the planning process, uneven business rates and their ability to sell produce at a loss, we are not holding our breath for decisive action," she said.
In a foreword to the research Professor Alan Hallsworth, reader in retailing at the University of Surrey's school of management, said the shopper had a "very real role to play".
"Just by calling into one more local shop than we already do will generate an extra 60 million shopping trips," he said.