Hard work pays off as Compton store reopens

Two families are helping to put the heart back into their community after relaunching their village store.

Robin and Melanie Bray and Jane Rebeiro bought the old Compton Village Stores in October last year and gave themselves the ambitious target of getting all the building work and refit done in six months, so the shop could open in time for Easter.

While the work took place, residents were still able catch up on the news as Jane and Melanie set up an honesty box at the old farm office so people could still buy newspapers, including the Chichester Observer.

The tight schedule of work has involved some major structural work, carried out by Nutbourne Construction, which meant knocking through the house next to the shop, which has now been renamed Folly Cottage.

REI Shopfitters of Lavant have transformed the inside of the building into a light area where customers will enjoy shopping.

As well as the new shop, villagers will now be able to enjoy a tea room in the sitting room of the cottage. It will serve a small range of sandwiches and cakes, with the menu changing according to the seasons.

Mrs Rebeiro said: "We are absolutely delighted we are going to be providing a valuable village shop. The last one was let go and unfortunately didn't stock very much at all.

"We hope it is going to be a real hub for the community, and people have asked us if we can stock more locally-produced and unusual goods."

Mrs Rebeiro said residents had been very supportive of the new venture and everyone was looking forward to having their village shop back.

"Chichester District Council and West Sussex County Council have been very helpful and Compton Parish Council was actively supportive in conducting a valuable questionnaire.

"The villagers have expressed their delight at having not only a well-stocked shop, but also a meeting place where they can stop for a chat over a cup of tea and a slice of homemade cake.

"As well as providing a vital service to the community, we hope walkers and cyclists will put us on their map."

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