Four years without a shop ends for Fenland village as new store and tea room opens

CHAMPAGNE flowed to celebrate the opening of a village shop four years after the last store closed.

CHAMPAGNE flowed to celebrate the opening of a village shop four years after the last store closed.

Jason McKenzie and his wife Ayisha opened The Thirsty Traveller in Church Lane, Tydd St Giles, on Saturday to cheers from residents who had been forced to travel two miles to shop in Tydd St Mary.

The couple believe their shop will develop a community theme and hope to provide space for residents to sell their own produce and goods.

Mrs McKenzie said: “This shop has enabled Jason to fulfil a dream of running both a traditional tea shop and a store to serve the community.

“We aim to stock fresh produce at competitive prices suitable for the local community. We strongly disagree with high prices in small stores because the people of Tydd St Giles have no other alternative in the village.

“We are already employing from within the community and aim to provide a space to showcase the skill of people from the village.

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“But we also want people to have a place when they can sit, relax and enjoy Tydd St Giles.”

County councillor Steve Tierney opened the store and said he really hoped the shop succeeded.

The couple served champagne in celebration as Mr McKenzie - a trained caterer who worked at The France Deli in Long Sutton - showed off his cooking expertise.

Villager Caravel Jarvis said: “Because I don’t drive I’ve had to walk 2.2 miles every time I’ve wanted a pint of milk.

“This shop is an absolute godsend. It’s convenient, it’s different and it’s made my life so much easier. I really hope it does well.”

The shop will sell teas, coffees, a selection of cheeses, freshly baked baguettes, pastries and essential groceries. The couple hope to sell newspapers and other amenities in the next few weeks.

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