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New village shop boosts rural community

PUBLISHED: 00:59 19 October 2001 | UPDATED: 10:41 03 March 2010

A NEW village shop has opened in Suffolk, marking a victory in the battle to preserve services in rural communities.

Around 80 people turned out for the event at Tastebuds in Earl Soham, near Framlingham, including Lady Cranbrook of the Country Land and Business Association and Tastes of Anglia.

A NEW village shop has opened in Suffolk, marking a victory in the battle to preserve services in rural communities.

Around 80 people turned out for the event at Tastebuds in Earl Soham, near Framlingham, including Lady Cranbrook of the Country Land and Business Association and Tastes of Anglia.

The premises was bought by local brewer John Bjornson, of Earl Soham Brewery and Victoria pub, and he has moved his brewery into one part of the building, formerly occupied by an upholsterer's.

The existing post office is contained within Tastebuds, which is run by Lucie Walker, whose husband, Malcolm works at the brewery.

The new store sells home-cooked foods, fresh local products, and has a delicatessen and off-licence. It even has a home delivery service.

Those involved hoped the store heralded a new era, as similar projects to revive local services are under way in Dennington and Bramfield.

The revamp was supported by a £5,000 grant by Suffolk Coastal District Council and a further £5,000 from the Countryside Agency.

The shop is aimed at complementing the village's existing and highly successful butcher's shop, run by John Hutton, which is planning to double in size before Christmas. It sells fruit and vegetables and newspapers, but its mainstay is its local meat.

Lady Cranbrook felt the opening was part of a "rising trend" back towards local shopping, saying: "The village shop has a huge, huge role in sustaining local communities."

Mrs Walker said customers wanted to buy local produce and were happy to pay the extra price because they knew where it had come from.

"So far it's been fun and we've had a lot of local support. I think what's made it viable has been the home cooked foods side of things."

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