With huge regret we learn Bobby and his family have decided the time is right to move on, with the a new Shopkeeper taking over the Rushlake Green Village Stores on Monday 8th July. In the five year’s 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. And sadly we now hear that 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 customer’s particular preferences, will be hugely missed and we wish her all the best for the future.

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. So, for example, not everyone will have witnessed Bobby or Rohani 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. And we understand that Bobby will remain on hand for a while to help run the Post Office counter until the new Shopkeeper, Tony Field, completes his training to run post office services going forward.

The news of this change of Shopkeeper will undoubtedly be devastating news for many local customers, but we should feel very grateful that Bobby and Rohani are passing on a local shop that is, through their hard work, an exemplar for local community support and unity.