The community in Harbottle in Northumberland have several reasons to be thankful for the huge effort of their village pub, The Star Inn.
Having opened a village shop in the rear of The Star Inn earlier this year, Phil and Karen reacted quickly to the demands of the Covid 19 crisis by expanding the range of produce they sell.
At the same time they teamed up with a local farm butchery business and another local dairy farm, who have lost their usual hospitality customers, by providing a local outlet for their produce and freshly produced local essentials for the Harbottle community and surrounding area.
Next on their list was support for local sheep farmers, now in the middle of the busy lambing season. They set up an email ordering and delivery service to save them having to travel to the nearest town for groceries. Busy customers place their order on day one for a next day delivery when Phil also takes around their daily newspapers. The couple also deliver to their older and more vulnerable residents who place their orders by phone and, if they have no means of payment without cards, they operate a ‘pay later’ scheme.
Karen said: “When we heard that one of the neighbouring farms was expecting to deliver 4,000 lambs over the next few weeks we knew we had to help these time-pressed farms to provide the daily essentials that they needed. Extending that service to our more isolated residents was the next step.”
With a stand-alone building for a wood fired oven in development with further help from Pub is The Hub’s Community Services Fund, Phil and Karen next intend to provide a pizza takeaway service for their remote village, alongside their sales of beers from the local micro-brewery at Elsdon.
Nigel Williams from Pub is The Hub, who has been advising the couple added: “Since Phil and Karen moved into the pub last year they have set about making it the very heart of their community. The Star is really shining again!”