Rushlake Green residents were shocked to hear that the village shop is changing owners but relieved that there will be a seamless transition.
Bobby Paul Santhan and his family decided the time was right to move on with the a new shopkeeper Tony Field taking over the Rushlake Green Village Stores on Monday 8th July.
Tony, who is excited about his new venture, said: “It is very early days but we want to reassure people that the situation will remain the same and we will be serving the local community.”
Tony is Sussex born and bred and decided to return to the countryside after working in IT in London to ‘start a new chapter in his life’. “I was tired of the rat race and wanted to return to my roots and be part of a village community,” he added.
The new team includes Julia Benning, who has much experience in customer service and will be Tony’s assistant manager, and Charlie Carr who has just finished his A levels and is helping to keep the shelves topped up. He will be helping to implement the new Epos System over the next few weeks.
In the five years since taking over the village shop, Bobby has overseen a whole host of improvements that have helped to make the shop the success it is today. The artisan breads, the expanded fruit and veg section, the organic food range, the deli and meat section, the magazines, the vegan and non-dairy products – not to mention the all day cafe for locals and visitors to the village.
All these innovations and more have contributed to building the shop’s status as an attractive, convenient, friendly and much-appreciated centre of the community. Denise Bailey is also retiring for a well earned rest after seven years behind the counter in the shop. Denise’s friendly customer service and her encyclopaedic memory for countless customers’ particular preferences, will be hugely missed.
Bobby and the whole shop team have tirelessly offered warm and attentive customer service, day in day out in a host of ways – many not fully appreciated. For example Bobby and his wife Rohani could often be seen quietly walking across the green, basketful of goods in hand, to deliver shopping to a resident not able to get into the shop that day.
The re-opening of the Post Office was only made possible by Rohani taking on the task – a role which she has unfailingly performed with friendly efficiency and patience. Many local businesses rely on this vital service – one which is becoming increasingly under threat in rural areas such as this.
Bobby will remain on hand for a while to help run the Post Office counter until Tony completes his training to run post office services going forward.
Story and photo courtesy of Rushlake Green Village Leaf