Publicans Chris Nilsson and Beverley Cooper have opened a new community café at the White Horse in Corton, Suffolk, to support local residents.
The publicans, who have run the pub for five years, rallied to help people in the local area during lockdown by delivering essential supplies and collecting prescriptions for the vulnerable.
They soon realised that as there are many elderly local residents and a lack of services in the immediate vicinity, there was a need for a community café and takeaway food service.
The publicans launched a takeaway in January that has been a roaring success. A renovated area of the pub has also been transformed into a community café with the expert help and a Community Services Fund grant from Pub is The Hub, the not-for-profit organisation that helps pubs to diversify and provide essential local services.
The new community café will offer a range of coffees and teas, sandwiches, sausage rolls as well as cakes, brownies and cookies homemade by local baker Sam Butcher.
Chris Nilsson said: “We have been overwhelmed by the support we have received from our customers since reopening our outside area in April.
“The community café will provide a lifeline to many in the area who have been finding the lockdown a challenge.”
Pub is The Hub regional advisor Terry Stork said: “Publicans Bev and Chris really stepped in to help local residents when the lockdowns hit and the launch of their takeaway service has been a great success.
“The community café will offer those living locally the chance to meet and socialise following a time when many of them have been isolated due to lockdown.”
The pub also has a village store, which it opened in 2019, again with the support of Pub is The Hub, which has been crucial in helping residents access essentials as well as enabling them to have some social interaction.
The White Horse reopened for outside trading on 12 April utilising the use of an outside marquee. The publicans have also launched a new menu focusing on premium pub classics.