Ring O’Bells, Alvington, Devon

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The Ring O’Bells is located on the A381 between Kingsbridge and Salcombe and overlooks the beautiful Devon countryside and Kingsbridge estuary.  The pub benefits from having five en-suite letting bedrooms, and a restaurant offering set menus and a Sunday carvery with all food sourced locally and cooked fresh to order.  The village has a population of approximately 600, and the nearest local supermarket is in Kingsbridge which is 1.5 miles away.  The village has a Village Hall, but no shops, Post Office or other local amenities.  The previous village shop closed down ten years ago when the owners retired, and no one bought the business so it was turned into a house, which was a loss to the village.

The Ring O’Bells was shut for three and a half years before licensees Jon and Vicky took on the lease with Wellington Pub Company in May 2011.  Jon has a wealth of experience in the catering industry and in the past they had both worked locally in Salcombe and had themselves been customers at the Ring O’Bells during this time.

Locals had requested that Jon and Vicky start selling basic provisions from the pub, which started with things like cheeses and pickles – but requests kept coming in for more and more items.  At this point they were told about Pub is The Hub and they decided to get in touch and requested a visit from Local Advisor Reg Clarke.  After sitting down to discuss their options and looking at case studies, Jon said that it all ‘fell into place’ that they had the space and the customers to create a proper community shop within the Ring O’Bells.

Their community shop opened in December 2013, and is located to the rear of the pub in an old back store from the cellar which wasnt being used.  It took four weeks for the actual work, and Jon and Vicky used local tradesmen who worked at really competitive rates for them.  The shop is open daily from 9.30am and closes when the pub closes in the evening.

Available for purchase are newspapers, bread, milk and groceries, there is also a frozen section and an offering of basic household items along with tobacco and fire wood.  At the weekends they offer fresh bread, croissants, Danish pastries, bacon and lots of breakfast supplies.  Their new ‘veg boxes’ have been popular, and there is lots of interest for further new items in the summer when they will become busier with holiday trade.  Jon said they ‘listen to what their customers want’ and then implement it where they can.  Feedback from locals is that the shop has been a resounding success so far, and they feel that this will grow.

The overall cost of the project was £4,800 and this was partially funded by a grant from the Community Services Fund of £3,987.

For more information telephone 01423 546165 or email enquiries@pubisthehub.org.uk