Local residents of Stokesby near Great Yarmouth in Norfolk can skip the six-mile round trip to the nearby town for essential groceries since their local, The Ferry Inn, opened a permanent shop in the pub.
Alison Brewster and her family who run the Adnams-owned waterside pub came up with the idea from Pub is The Hub after the village shop closed a year ago. Pub is The Hub supported the venture with advice and a grant towards the cost.
The Ferry Inn Village Shop opened on Monday with strict Covid-19 rules in place with Perspex around the shop counter, social distancing for waiting customers, and a one-in one-out policy. The shop is situated inside the pub in, what used to be an underused pool room. It has a separate entrance so it can be separate from the pub.
The shop will be open daily from 11am to 4pm and will stock all the basic essential groceries, as well as Alison’s freshly baked breads and her famous homemade cakes and pastries.
During the lockdown Alison and her family have raised £400 for the NHS by giving away beer and cider on the 75th Anniversary of VE Day. Locals queued two metres apart with their own containers to collect their lockdown ‘rations’. The family have also been delivering groceries free of charge to the community and for the most vulnerable in the village, collecting their shopping from the supermarket, along with supplying takeaways and homemade cakes.
Alison commented: “When the village shop closed it meant that local residents and visitors along the river had to leave the area for basic provisions. Our pool room was sitting empty for most of the time, so the conversion to a retail space seemed like the perfect solution for everyone. We are really grateful to Pub is The Hub for their ideas and financial support to get the project underway.”
Terry Stork who is the advisor for Pub is The Hub added: “Alison and her family have worked really hard in this venture during a very difficult period for the pub, while still finding time to help local people and raise money for charity. We hope that the shop is a great success in promoting local business and supporting Stokesby’s economy well after lockdown has ended.”