Wiltshire pub re-opens a shop and bakery for the village

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A new village shop and bakery has opened in the local pub at Dinton near Salisbury in South Wiltshire with support from the Community Services Fund.

Margaret Tonson, the village’s long-serving ex-postmistress and shopkeeper officially opened the Village Shop and Bakery yesterday at The Penruddocke Arms, a year after the previous village shop closed down. Free house owners of the pub, Matt Keel and Carly Hunt have set up their shop in an old disused games room at the side of the pub.

Having heard about the work of Pub is The Hub in supporting pubs to diversify their businesses, they made contact with the local advisor, Reg Clarke. He was able to advise and support them on their project whilst also obtaining a grant of £1,500 from the organisation’s Community Services Fund towards cost of refurbishing the games room to the shop. Brewer, Greene King also contributed £400 towards the cost of a fridge.

The shop is accessible through a separate door to the pub and is open seven days a week from 7.30am to 6.30pm from Monday to Saturday and from 8am to 4pm on Sunday. It sells newspapers, convenience foods and local produce and will be staffed entirely by family members, with Matt and Carly’s mums and two sisters.

Carly, who grew up in Dinton said: “When we heard that the old shop was closing, I really wanted to take it on but it was just too far from the pub to make it viable for us. It was our accountant who suggested that we look at redeveloping the old games room and to contact Pub is The Hub for advice.

“With our own investment and the grant from Pub is The Hub we hope that the shop will save the villagers from having to drive too far for their everyday groceries. We have started up a delivery service for those who can’t drive to us – I have children at the school so I’m in the village twice a day – and we serve hot takeaway food and coffees.”

She added: “We have been open for a couple of weeks now and it has gone far better than we thought it it would.”

The photograph above features Margaret Tonson, the ex-post mistress for Dinton, Reg Clarke from Pub is The Hub and Carly Hunt, owner and licensee of the pub