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Pub Converts Shipping Container Into Village Shop

A Dorest pub which helped support villagers during the COVID-19 pandemic has now converted a shipping container into a village shop in the pub’s car park.

The Rose & Crown in Longburton, three miles south of Sherborne, opened the shop, called ‘The Larder’ to supply a range of essentials such as bread, meat, organic milk, fresh fruit, vegetables, and even take away coffee, according to the Dorset Echo.

Publicans Becky and John Gibbons, who took over the village pub four years ago, received a Community Services Fund grant of £3,000 from Pub is The Hub to set up the shop, and save village residents needing to travel to Sherborne for their groceries.

Pub is The Hub is a not-for-profit organisation which helps pubs to diversify with services for the local community.

Spurred by the lockdown, the Gibbons family completed creating The Larder, which proved to be an important lifeline for Longburton villagers, particularly those who are vulnerable and shielding.

Becky Gibbons said: “The village has an ageing population as well as a lot of young families who need the support of a local shop. When we were in lockdown we realised that we really needed the shop in place to help those in the community.”

The Larder is open Monday to Friday from 9 am till 3 pm and from 9 am till 1 pm on Saturdays. The Rose & Crown already has an outreach Post Office on-site, which opens on Friday afternoons, and offers breakfast and brunch from 8 am till 1 pm from a converted rice trailer in the car park.

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