Pub landlord turns function room into makeshift shop

Put with flowers and hanging baskets and a flag outside

The White Horse pub, Trowse. - Credit: White Horse, Trowse

A couple who run a Norfolk pub have transformed a room used for parties into an essential shop.

Andy and Pam Coleman, who run the White Horse pub in Trowse, could not bear to see locals going without when the village shop closed in lockdown.

So they set up their own temporary shop, selling fresh fruit and vegetables from local suppliers, bread, milk, shelves of tinned and packet food and even a full choice of daily newspapers.

Shelves of tinned and packets of food as well as toilet rolls and other essentials in pub function room with patterned carpet

A selection of goods on offer at the makeshift store. - Credit: White Horse, Trowse

They are using the function room in the pub, normally booked up at this time of year for parties, but currently empty because of coronavirus restrictions.

Table covered with several daily newspapers

Newspapers and other essential items are on offer. - Credit: White Horse, Trowse

And even though they admitted it was hard work keeping it going, they said it was worth it because they knew it stopped people, particularly the elderly in Trowse, having to travel on public transport to go to a shop further afield.

Crates and boxes of fresh fruit and vegetables on floor of pub for sale

Fresh produce available at The White Horse in Trowse. - Credit: White Horse, Trowse


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Under council rules, the Colemans can continue operating the shop until March next year but they hoped they would not need to.

Mr Coleman said: "We're not shopkeepers and we look forward to being able to get back to running the pub as normal.

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"The signage on the local shop said it was closed for refurbishment and that has not changed so we thought we needed to support people.

"We're now trying to work out how we can reopen the pub."

Tables with white cloths on set up for dinner in pub function room with blue patterned carpet

A function room has been transformed into a shop. - Credit: White Horse, Trowse

The makeshift shop has gone down a storm with locals.

Sarah Kemp, who lives in Trowse, said: "Our village shop closed in March and hasn’t re-opened.

"We have been without a shop ever since and it’s been much missed by the village. The White Horse pub decided to recently open its own ‘village shop‘ and it’s been great  during this difficult time.

"The pub has been a great support to the village during the pandemic, even giving away free portions of chips after the weekly clap during the first wave.

"Trowse has a great sense of community."

Mrs Coleman started running the White Horse in 1993 after running several other pubs such as La Rouen in Norwich, which became Number 12, now closed. 

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