‘Gamble’ pays off for shop-owning couple

Sandra and Clive Heyward outside their new storefront.

Sandra and Clive Heyward outside their new storefront. - Credit: Archant

A COUPLE have spent the past three years turning around a struggling village Post Office and have just completed the final stage – fitting a brand new store front.

Sandra and Clive Heyward took over Churchill Post Office Store And Tearoom three years ago after returning to the UK after living in America.

Mrs Heyward said: “We thought maybe we could work for ourselves and a village shop would be nice. But it was a big gamble.

“It was a struggling village store like many others but we knew there was need for it in the village so we went in.”

Since taking over the store the couple have invested in a huge fridge inside, enabling them to increase their stock, and they have also set up a tearoom at the back of the store for villagers to enjoy.

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Mrs Heyward said: “We have really built the business up, not just in the Post Office but in the store as well and with the tearooms out the back, it is just a great place for people to come.

“I think people around here really do support their local shop and as long as they carry on supporting us we will be here.”

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Mrs Heyward highlighted how many people rely on the store, and said: “Lots of big names are taking over small village shops, but we have always said we want to keep it our own.

“Without us there would not be a shop in the village, there are a lot of elderly people and students from the school and sixth form, and there are a lot of people who don’t drive.

“We have definitely had support from all of our local villagers and they definitely do need their independent local shop around here.”

Now the couple have put the finishing touch on the Post Office by giving it a brand new frontage.

The pair chose a classic look to fit in with the village’s surrounding buildings and remain in keeping with the building’s style.

Mrs Heyward said: “It’s similar in character to the one before as it is an older building so we wanted to keep it in the same style as before, but it looks fantastic.”

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