Customers 'overjoyed' by new rural shop

Gary Holley and wife Mary-Ann

Gary Holley and wife Mary-Ann, pictured in the new Fat Otter convenience store - Credit: Submitted

The owner of a new shop, who hopes to bring back “a community feel” to his patch of rural Norfolk as lockdown lifts, has said his first customers have been “overjoyed” by the shop’s offerings. 

The Fat Otter convenience store in Beetley, near Dereham, is run by Gary Holley, and wife Mary-Ann, and opened on April 10.

“People have been overjoyed with it, and amazed at how much stock we’re carrying,” said Mr Holley.

Stock inside the Fat Otter shop

Customers have reportedly been "amazed" at the amount of stock on offer at the new shop. - Credit: The Fat Otter/Otter's Mead

The shop is intended both for the public and for guests at the Otter’s Mead holiday park, which Mr Holley has been operating since it opened in August 2019.

The couple had hoped to open the shop sooner, but were delayed by the pandemic. 

As well as grocery supplies, refrigerated goods, newspapers and other products, the shop also stocks alcohol. 


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“We’ve got a licence so we can sell wines and spirits, and we’re using local breweries like Beeston Brewers,” said Mr Holley.

The Fat Otter shop with picnic tables outside

The couple have recently added picnic tables to the shop's exterior for those hoping to enjoy a rest and snack. - Credit: The Fat Otter/Otter's Mead

He added that people in Beetley and other nearby villages had been “missing the community feel [during lockdown], because you don’t go anywhere and you don’t bump into anyone.” 

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