The shop has been opened in the pub by licensees, Vikki and Gavin Hunt, with support and advice from rural pub champions, Pub is The Hub and a grant of £3,000 from Norfolk County Council’s Community Services Fund.
Cllr Bill Borrett, Norfolk County Councillor for North Tuddenham, said: “I am really excited by this project, and very pleased that Norfolk County Council is able to help fund it. The community shop is much needed in North Tuddenham and it will also contribute to our aims of helping to reduce isolation in communities and enabling people to remain independent for as long as possible.”
Vikki and Gavin have been running The Lodge since 2007 and, following an extension and refurbishment project in 2017, they realised that they finally had room to accommodate the shop that they had always wanted to provide for the village. They made contact with Pub is The Hub for advice and, through the local advisor, Terry Stork, were awarded the £3,000 grant from Norfolk County Council’s Community Services Fund towards the cost of the shop fittings.
The shop will sell locally sourced fruit, vegetables, dairy, meats, take away coffees and ready-made Indian meals as well as everyday essentials and will be open for pub opening hours; from 12 midday to 11pm on Tuesday to Sunday. Initially the shop will be available from an entrance in the pub but it also has a separate accessible entrance from the car park and Vikki hopes to create some new part-time work if the shop becomes busy.
Vikki said: “We are enormously grateful to Pub is The Hub for the advice and support they have given and to Norfolk County Council for financial support with the grant to help towards the costs. The shop will save locals an 8-mile round trip to the nearest shop as well as the chance to pick up a loaf of bread up to 11pm at night!”
Terry Stork from Pub is The Hub added: “In a rural area this sort of enterprise is a much needed and welcome asset for North Tuddenham. With thanks as always to Norfolk County Council for their foresight in supporting rural services with the grant towards this project.”