Pub is home to first village shop in over 30 years

By Georgina Townshend contact

- Last updated on GMT

Cheers: Judi Newman with Terry Stork outside the shop
Cheers: Judi Newman with Terry Stork outside the shop
After an absence of more than three decades, a village in Suffolk is welcoming the launch of a new village shop at the Oyster Inn, boosted by a grant from People’s Postcode Lottery.

Situated at the rear of the 400-year-old pub, Butley Village Store will be open during pub hours and stock convenience foods and produce from local suppliers, including baked goods from the award-winning Cake Shop Bakery in nearby Woodbridge. 

The store is the culmination of 18 months’ worth of refurbishment and development by owners Judi and Andrew Newman following a four-year period of closure. Alongside the shop, they have already opened a microbrewery and a community cinema club.

In December, the project received a huge boost when it was confirmed that they had been awarded a grant of £25,000 through the Prince’s Countryside Fund in partnership with People’s Postcode Lottery allowing the Newmans to complete the village shop.

Bringing the community together

Parish council chairman David McGinitty and WI chair Audrey Boast were on hand to officially open the shop and celebrate the return of the village’s much-needed service. Also at the opening was Terry Stork, the local adviser representing Pub is The Hub.

Judi said: “The development of the shop has been based on local demand and consultation. Many of our locals had said that they were very keen to see a shop in the village again – in fact it’s something that we mentioned in our blog on the day we took over the pub in June 2016. At the weekend, one lady told me that she had just done an eight-mile round trip to buy some cat food so hopefully she won’t have to do that again.

“We have been inspired by our work with Pub is The Hub – we love their idea of widening the range of services we can offer at the Oyster Inn to really bring our community together. Combined with our own investment and Pub is The Hub’s links to funding, we have been able to complete projects that will not only serve to enhance Butley as a destination but will also improve services, combat social isolation and will improve general community wellbeing.

“We would like to thank players of People’s Postcode Lottery and The Prince’s Countryside Fund for the grant. We were thrilled to receive the recognition for our community and the added benefits they have helped us to provide with their generous support.”

Stork added: “Judi, Andrew and the team at the Oyster have shown what pubs can achieve when they set out at the beginning of a big project like this with their locals and surrounding community in mind.

"While they have invested a great deal of their own money in developing their hospitality business they have also been mindful of local residents’ needs at the same time with these essential services and I know it will reap rewards for community cohesion long into the future.”

The shop will be open from 12midday to 3pm and then from 5pm to 11pm from Tuesday to Friday, and from 12midday to 11pm at the weekends. At weekends, the shop will be staffed during the busy lunchtime shifts, otherwise pub staff will manage the sales.

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