Poll: Fornham St Martin couple see “brilliant” response to convenience store at Woolpack pub

The Woolpack Stores village shop has now opened at The Woolpack pub in Fornham St Martin. Grahan and

The Woolpack Stores village shop has now opened at The Woolpack pub in Fornham St Martin. Grahan and Clare Hindle are pictured. - Credit: Archant

IN a time when villages often seem to be losing facilities, a husband and wife team have opened a convenience store at the site of a pub in Fornham St Martin, near Bury St Edmunds.

Clare and Graham Hindle, who both have a background in catering, have launched the shop at a building at the back of the Woolpack pub, which they also run.

Mrs Hindle said the response to the shop, which opened properly on February 3, had been “brilliant”.

The 44-year-old said: “I think it’s just more of a convenience. In the village it’s quite a high older population, elderly population, and of course they don’t always want to get a taxi to Tesco or whatever.”

She explained when the couple took the pub on there were quite a lot of buildings which came with it, including one which she thought had been used as a meeting room.

The villagers wanted a convenience store, she said, and with the help of a £5,000 grant from the Pub is the Hub scheme the idea became a reality.

She added they had just won an award from the scheme for being the most community-spirited business.

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Mrs Hindle, who has an interior design shop in Bury called Copeland Interiors, said the shop stocked products such as newspapers and milk and the plan is to sell food cooked in the pub kitchen.

The couple, who have a daughter called Evie, 14, took on the pub two-and-a-half-years ago. Mrs Hindle said they had carried out some renovations which badly needed doing and there was more to be done.

“We have got a massive local trade and we have also got people coming from all over the place to come and eat because they know the food is so good. Business has more than quadrupled since we started.”

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