We launched the Fox Shop in early April last year at the start of the first lockdown and it’s been been our lifeline ever since, enabling us to keep our business going, to support the local community with essential food and treats and been an important way to support our favourite food & drink producers and suppliers. We also came to the aid of locals during lockdown who were vulnerable and shielding by donating free meals, which were distributed by local volunteers. The Fox Shop has also helped to fight social isolation as people were able to chat at a social distance when coming to the shop.
Our village, Hunsdon, has a local shop for basics so we were careful to offer different items such as fresh bread, home made ready meals, seasonal produce and local ice cream.
The shop started off with a few items to help out in the first lockdown but grew as the locals loved it. When we reopened they asked us to continue with the service and we decided to create a designated area inside the pub. While we are excited about getting back to normal with the pub open again, we are also excited about continuing to build and grow our new shop venture.
We are fortunate to be supported by the Pub is The Hub a not for profit organisation which offers advice, support and funding for licensees, rural pubs and communities. We were grateful to receive a grant from the Pub is The Hub Community Services Fund to move our terrace shop into a long-term fixture inside the pub.
Regional advisor for Pub is The Hub Jeremy English said: “Publicans Bianca and James have made their pub an important hub for the local area. They rallied to help the local community in the first lockdown with the shop and free ready meals for the vulnerable. The pub shop has become a crucial amenity for those living locally and has helped to keep the locals connected.”
We are hugely grateful to the Pub is the Hub for all their support and we look forward to welcoming you back to the new Fox & Hounds Pub, Restaurant & Shop.