An enterprising Devon pub that supported its local community
during the pandemic has opened a new village shop with the support
of Pub is The Hub, the not-for-profit organisation that helps pubs
to diversify and provide essential local services.

The Red Lion Inn in Shobrooke, near Crediton opened the shop
with the help of a £3,000 grant from the Pub is the Hub Community
Services Fund.

The Pub is The Hub grant enabled the development of a room
situated just off the main front door of the pub. It helped with
building works including fitted shelving and a purpose built
counter as well as the purchase of a fridge and freezer.

During lockdown in March, the pub which has been run by wife and
husband Jane Johnson and Steve Johnson and daughter Natalie Dyson
for the last nine years, decided to set up a telephone and online
food ordering service. Customers could pick up a box of groceries
that included meat, fish and local produce outside the pub and pay
online or with bank transfer to ensure social distancing.

During this time the pub also offered a meals-on-wheels service
for vulnerable customers and a takeaway meals service.

Publican Jane Johnson said: “When we went into lockdown we
were determined to keep the business going.

“We had previously considered opening a village shop and
lockdown gave us the time to think more about it. After talking to
local people we decided that the village needed a local shop as the
nearest supermarket is a few miles away.

“The shop has been a lifeline to the village and is a much
needed amenity.”

The Shobrooke Village Shop and pub also has the backing of local
Central Devon MP Mel Stride who visited the premises in August in
support of the plans.

Regional advisor for Pub is The Hub Reg Clarke said: “This
village shop is already proving to be a real asset to the local

“Jane, Steve and Natalie really went above and beyond to help
the local community during these recent difficult times.

“It takes a lot of commitment to do a project like this while
running a local pub during a pandemic.”

Editor’s notes

Pub is The Hub is a not-for-profit organisation initiated by HRH
the Prince of Wales in 2001, which offers independent specialist
advice on rural services diversification or community ownership of
pubs, so they can provide viable local services at the heart of the

With a proven track record of rural project development and
delivery over the last 19 years, Pub is The Hub has worked with
great licensees to open post offices, shops, libraries, cafes,
community cinemas, allotments, play areas and much more. Since
2013, the organisation has also been able to offer small grants
through its Community Services Fund.


Twitter: @PubistheHub_uk


Press release from Pub is the Hub

For any enquiries or further images please contact Michelle
Perrett on [email protected] or on 07881


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