Keys to Boxford Village Stores handed over as new owner takes the helm

Britain's oldest shop and post office, Boxford Stores

Britain's oldest shop and post office, Boxford Stores - Credit: Archant

The future of a thriving village shop is in good hands after new owners opened for business this week.

The Village Stores in Boxford was put on the market last year when Joy Stowe decided to retire after owning the shop for 15 years and working in it for more than half a century.

A young couple, Kunal and Komal Odedra, have now bought the shop which will continue trading as a general store.

The news has been welcomed in the village, where uncertainty still remains over the future of the post office, which is part of the village’s other shop, Boxford Stores.

The Grade II-listed building, in Swan Street is believed to be Britain’s oldest shop with a trading history dating back to 1420.

It has been on the market for more than 18 months but is understood to have just been sold subject to contract.

Last March, Boxford’s newsagents closed after its owners failed to find a buyer to take it on as a going concern.

Most Read

However, part of the former shop is now up for let and it is hoped it will attract another enterprise to the village.

Boxford resident David Lamming said under Mrs Stowe’s ownership, the Village Stores had always been a viable business, so residents never felt they were in a position where they could lose it. He added: “The new owners are young and enthusiastic and I am sure they will continue to make it thrive.”

But Babergh councillor Bryn Hurren, who lives in Boxford, warned that if the shop is to continue to prosper, people must use it.

He added: “If you want a shop to be there when the village is under six inches of snow, you have to use it regularly to ensure its survival. The new owners of the Village Stores have said they will be happy to listen to feedback about what people want to buy, so I would urge locals to work with them.”

Meanwhile, Mr Hurren said the new owners of the Boxford Stores premises had also agreed to work with the community to achieve a positive outcome for the village regarding the post office.