By Anthony Carroll
Saturday, February 18, 2012
A north Suffolk shop that has received the seal of approval from Prince Charles is proving a hit with customers again after it re-opened its doors after a five month hiatus.
People in Blythburgh can once again get their newspapers, snacks and food from Blythburgh Newsagent and Stores after it was taken on by local couple Alan de Thabrew and Katie Timson.
The shop opened on Saturday, February 11 and has already proved popular with villagers and passing motorists and commuter’s who can enjoy tasty sandwiches and cakes.
Situated next to the White Hart pub on the A12, the shop also offers dry cleaning and laundry, home deliveries and a prescription service for patients at the York Road surgery on Fridays.
The shop has been close since September after its ten year tenancy ran out.
In 2008 the shop was visited by Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall as it was the first business to benefit from The Prince of Wales’s Pub is the Hub initiative in 2001.
The shop was re-opened by Mr de Thabrew, who is a parish councillor, and Ms Timson as like many other villagers they missed what it had offered the community.
It was the first time the couple have dabbled in running a shop - and so far it seems to be going well.
Ms Timson, 41, and who used to be business agent for an estate agent, said: “It has gone really well so far. The reaction from the community has been fantastic.
“We have had so many villagers coming in saying they had missed the village shop and seem happy with what we are offering.
“During the week we also started to get more morning trade, which is vital to keeping the shop going.
Ms Timson, a mother of two, added: “I don’t know if Prince Charles will come to Blythburgh again, but he is welcome to visit us.”
Southwold-based brewer Adnams owns the shop, which hopes to attract more business from passing motorists, walkers in the summer and from visitors and workers at the Latitude Festival.
Andy Wood, Adnams chief executive, said: “We are delighted that Katie and Alan have taken on the shop. As a local couple they really understand the needs of the community.
“Adnams has been determined to keep this valuable community resource open and although it has taken a little longer than anticipated, we are extremely pleased that the store is open again.
“The harsh reality is one of ‘use it or lose it’ with so many vital rural amenities, we urge people to support the Blythburgh store.”
The re-opened Blythburgh Newsagent and Stores, which employs part-time worker Heidi Rae and also has pasties and local crafts on sale, is open 7am to 6pm Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm on Saturdays and 9am to 1pm on Sundays.
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