The Pig and Whistle pub at Littlehempston near Totnes officially opened its new village shop today with the support of rural pub champions Pub is The Hub returning an essential service back to the village. Licensees Phil and Donna raised a pint with their local milk supplier, Tony Gibson of Riverford Farm Dairy who is supplying the other daily pint!
When Donna and Phil McCann moved into the closed pub, the Pig and Whistle on Newton Road, in Littlehempston in Spring 2013 they discovered that the nearest essential services for the village and its surrounding area were via a drive into Totnes – not such a great distance but in peak holiday season, very time-consuming. During that summer they worked on improving the pub for locals and holidaymakers alike whilst germinating the idea for a community shop housed at the pub.
After approaching Pub is The Hub for help and advice, they discovered that they were able to apply for a grant from the organisation’s Community Services Fund to convert the pub’s cellar and storeroom into a self-contained shop with access directly from the car park. They have used the £3,800 grant from Pub is The Hub to pay for the building working work whilst paying themselves to move the cellar equipment and for all the shop’s fixtures and fittings.
Serving newspapers, local produce and other essential and convenience items the Pig and Whistle Community Shop will be open between 8am – 8pm all week. The shop will sell locally made goods such as wine and cheese from Sharphams Winery, beers from Teignworthy and Hunters Breweries, dairy produce, meats, fruit and vegetables as well as home-made jams, honey and freshly baked pasties.
Donna said: “Since taking on the pub, we have tried to reinvest everything we could into improving our service for the surrounding community and its many visitors and we’re seeing increased trade as a result. Since taking on the pub and developing our trade, we have created 18 new jobs here at the pub. Our new shop venture will create a further four part-time positions for local people as well as providing an outlet for local suppliers.
“This venture would not have been possible without the support, encouragement and financial help from Pub is The Hub and their Community Services Fund.”
Reg Clarke, regional advisor for Pub is The Hub added: “Donna and Phil have done a tremendous job at the Pig and Whistle and in common with many other fantastic licensees have placed themselves at the heart of their community. We were delighted to give them a modest grant to open the shop and will continue to offer them support and advice where we can.”