Hart of the community - Hartlepool pub's shop moves to permanent new home
A village shop which began life only weeks ago in a pub marquee has moved to a permanent new home.
The shop – the first in Hart in around a decade – initially opened on a trial basis at the Raby Arms.
It proved so popular that the pub decided to continue the business on a permanent basis and it has now moved into a converted cellar with its own front door and Hart Village Store sign.
Manager Kate Bruns has said response on the opening day was really positive and there are hopes to grow the shop in the future.
She said: “We have converted half of our cellar into a permanent premises for the shop.
"It looks lovely. It’s quite small, but it’s perfectly formed.
"It’s in keeping with the building and the village. It’s got a really nice feel to it.
"We are looking to build and grow it, really.”
Prior to the store’s opening, residents were forced to undertake a lengthy walk down the A179 or travel by bus or car to the nearest shops at Middle Warren.
Kate has said that it became apparent “quite early on” that the shop was something people in the village had missed – and in just over a month of it running it was announced that it would become permanent.
She added: “I do think it’s something that adds to the community, something that’s needed.
"The response from the customers is massively positive.
"It’s something people will use on a regular basis, or I hope they will.”
The news comes in less than a month after the Raby Arms was allowed to reopen to outdoor customers alongside pubs in England.
Kate said: "Even with the weather this week, people are still coming in.
"We are doing our best to get everyone in the marquee, but obviously once that’s full, it will be limited to outside.
"We have a number a gazebos and parasols and even yesterday, when it was heavy rain, the people were still coming for food and for drinks.”
The store is open Monday to Sunday from 9am till 4pm.