IN BUSINESS: Joanne Souter with Alice Nicholson at the newly opened Hill Top Shop in Eggleston								            TM pics
IN BUSINESS: Joanne Souter with Alice Nicholson at the newly opened Hill Top Shop in Eggleston TM pics

FOR the first time in 15 years residents in Eggleston won’t have to go far to stock on up on supplies after the opening of a village shop.

The Hill Top Shop opened its doors last Wednesday. It has been developed as part of farming couple Joanne and Michael Souter’s glamping site at the rear of their pub, The Moorcock.

Although the glamping pods are not open at present, the couple were keen to get the shop up and running and have filled it with essential items – from fresh fruit and vegetables to cakes, bread, tinned goods, sweets and preserves.

Pride of place is their dedicated meat counter featuring home-grown beef.

Mrs Souter said: “With the pub being shut we have focussed on the shop. We have opened in a low key way because of everything going on with Covid. We’re trying to stock as much local produce as we can and have all our own meat in the butchery, as well as some local crafty things as well. But we’ll see what people want and if it’s viable we will get it in.”

The shop will be open six days a week and customers will also be able to order and pick up takeaway meals prepared at the pub. She added: “In the summer we will be opening seven days a week, but at the moment we’re going to just keep steady.”

Mrs Souter said “food miles” are kept to a minimum. She explained “The meat is from our farm and after it’s been processed it’s back here to butcher – that’s less than 15 miles.

“We have prepared a special takeaway menu for the Christmas period as it’s going to be a very different one for lots of people, especially if they are not getting together with family.”

The village has been without a shop following the closure of the post office and shop in 2005 and residents braved rainy weather to support the new venture last week.

Villager Geoff Lowson had the honour of being the first customer moments after the shop was opened. He said: “I can remember when the village had two shops and this is welcome. I wish them all the best and will be supporting them.”