Staff and customers at Budgens of Sheringham will be celebrating National Independent's Week
in style as the nationwide campaign aimed at encouraging consumers to back local retailers coincides with the store's relaunch following £100,000 worth of improvements. The store was taken over a year ago by business partners Paul Burnell and Jinx Hundal and, in spite of the threat of a Tesco supermarket looming over the town, the pair were determined to turn it into a thriving business.“A lot of people have seen what Tesco has done to other towns in terms of small businesses closing down, but we were confident that wouldn't affect us,” Mr Hundal said.“I think there will always be a need for small, town centre stores as what we offer is that local touch, which is something you don't get at big supermarkets. By getting the basics right, such as focussing on friendly, personal service and locally-sourced products, I think we can keep, and build on, the loyal customer base we already have.” Budgens of Sheringham now stocks newspapers and magazines, has a hot food counter serving freshly-made sandwiches, pies and pasties, and sells locally-sourced produce ranging from Norfolk Tawny and Binham Blue cheeses, to bread baked by Linzers of Norwich.“One of our success stories has been Broadland Hams, who now supply sausages, bacon and all our cooked meats,” Mr Burnell said.“It is great to be able to support local suppliers, especially when you take into account the concern about of food miles. The environment is a huge issue and, as part of the community, we want to be socially responsible.” The business partners last month took over a second Budgens store at Cromer, and insist that, whether or not Tesco comes to Sheringham, they are here to stay. National Independents' Week runs from June 4-10. Budgens of Sheringham will be celebrating by running in-store events including a colouring competition for local children. The store will be officially reopened on Monday, June 4 by a local celebrity, with attractions including a magician, food and wine tasting, and children's activities. For more information, phone 01263 822126.