Publicans Rachel and Kevin Sarbutts have come to the rescue of locals by opening a new village store at The Rettendon Bell in Rettendon, Essex.
The pub opened the new shop in a cabin in its car park, offering a range of essentials and fresh produce, bread and meat.
The village store was opened with the expert help and a Community Services Fund grant from Pub is The Hub, the not-for-profit organisation that helps pubs to diversify and provide essential local services.
The store is needed in the village as there are no other shops and it is a five mile round trip to the nearest supermarket. The shop also supports other local suppliers with the fresh produce supplied by B. Curtis Greengrocers in Billericay and the meat from S R Cooper Butchers in Basildon.
Rachel said: “It has been such a challenging time for local people and the village store will be such a lifeline. Getting this up and running has been such a team effort with both staff and local tradesmen helping us.”
Kevin added: “All the staff in the pub will also be serving in the shop meaning that everyone will see a familiar face when they pop in to pick up their shopping. We are currently looking at setting up a click and collect service and are also keen to run deliveries so that we can meet the needs of the most vulnerable in our local community.”
Pub is The Hub regional advisor Jeremy English said: “The opening of the store at The Rettendon Bell has great support from those living in the village.
“There are also future plans for a Sub Post Office at the pub which will be another big benefit for those living in the area.”