Wednesday, 20 October 2021

Former village cafe owners stay put and open deli

A COUPLE have opened a delicatessen in their village.

A COUPLE have opened a delicatessen in their village.

Stuart and Caroline Pierrepont set up The Goring Grocer at the former Art@Goring premises in High Street last month.

The shop sells cold meats, smoked fish, cheeses, wines, preserves and fresh produce as well as bread and ready meals cooked on the premises.

The Pierreponts, who live off High Street, previously ran the nearby Pierreponts café but sold it to Phil and Steph Kingsland in April.

They intended to move to Dorset and had put their cottage on the market but the sale fell through in July so they decided to stay.

In August they learned that Sarah Whittaker, the owner of Art@Goring, was closing the gallery so they agreed to take on the lease.

Mrs Pierrepont said: “We’d been planning to open a shop in Dorset so it wasn’t a drastic change of plan. We had wanted to move to the coast for some time but Goring is a lovely village and we’re perfectly happy to be staying.”

Before opening Pierreponts in 2008, the couple ran the White Lion pub at Crays Pond. The delicatessen is their first retail venture.

Mr Pierrepont, a chef, currently makes all the ready meals and bread but the couple are about to hire a full-time baker. They also have four part-time sales staff.

The couple opted for a low-key launch in case anything went wrong but say their first few weeks of trading have been successful.

Goring has been without a delicatessen since the closure of Napper’s Fine Foods in May last year. Mrs Pierrepont said: “I suppose we didn’t need to be cautious as the response has been unbelievable. We’ve had to order far more new stock than we expected.

“Napper’s was a Goring institution and its loss left a big gap in the market. We have shops that cater for people’s everyday needs but this offers something a bit more special.

“We’re trying to source lots of things you wouldn’t get in supermarkets and as much as possible comes from producers in Britain.

“Moving into retail was a bit of a risk but we’ve been trading in the area for 15 years and we hope we understand what its residents want.”

Meanwhile, a Henley café owner is to open a second branch in Goring.

Vivienne Lee took over the Village Café at The Arcade in High Street last month and is about to submit a planning application to refurbish it.

It will be renamed the Chocolate Café, the same as her other business in Thames Side, Henley.

She hopes to add a second seating area on the first floor of the building, which is currently vacant.

Ms Lee said: “Goring is a lovely village and I’ve been made to feel really welcome.”

More News:

POLL: Have your say