Rural shop in Stanwick is in line for a top national honour

A popular village shop and post office has been nominated by its customers for a prestigious award.

The Shop @ Stanwick and Post Office in High Street has been put forward for the Best Village Shop category of the 2008 Countryside Alliance Awards.

Sub postmaster Vernon Frost took over the business with Steve Ware and Neil Brailsford in July 2007 and since then business at the post office has tripled.

Mr Frost said: "We're thrilled to be recognised for the hard work we put in during the last year but we couldn't have done so well without our customers.

"When we took over it was a typical cornershop and we made it our priority to ask people what they wanted us to do here. For us it's not just about making money it's about all the other things you can do along the way."

Since the new owners took over, the business has begun sourcing as many products as it can from local producers, has launched a popular Italian coffee takeaway for customers, put up tables and chairs outside the store to give villagers the chance to meet up and regularly supports community events and fundraisers.

Mr Frost said: "Our customers told us they were keen to support the local economy as much as possible so we have tried to source as many products locally as possible.

"We get eggs from a farm in Chelveston, our milk comes from Hannington and our bread arrives warm from a bakers in Higham Ferrers.

"Our outdoor seating area has also proved really popular.

"We provide a personal service to our customers and remember customer service is what customers think it is, not what we think it is.

"We're very grateful to all our customers for their support and have been overwhelmed by how many people have voted for us."

Regular customer Andy Richardson, of Touch of Eden nursery in Stanwick, said: "They are a complete breath of fresh air to the village and are the best thing to have happened to it.

"They have become the hub of the village and have created a vibrant atmosphere."

n To vote for the Shop @ Stanwick and Post Office visit www.countrysideallianceawards.co.uk.

The deadline is October 27.