Businessman opens Eriswell’s first village store in 15 years

Eriswells Londis Store manager Alan Doyle, left, with Belinda Finch, Danny Gibson and owner Steve Gibson
Eriswells Londis Store manager Alan Doyle, left, with Belinda Finch, Danny Gibson and owner Steve Gibson
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Eriswell has its first village general store for 15 years after a Lakenheath businessman saw the opportunity.

The village lost its old Spa store, in a row of shops in Earls Field, not long after the 9-11 terrorist attack in New York in 2001 led to base security being stepped up.

Soon after the attack, the Lords Walk road between the B1112 roundabout and A1065, running past the base housing estate, was blocked and the grocery shop died.

But Steve Gibson, who runs a refrigeration business with his brother Tim, saw that as the base housing in Lords Walk estate was being sold to civilians, the trading situation for the little row of shops off the roundabout was changing.

“I’ve been thinking about a shop for several years,” he said. “I saw there was an opportunity to get one of these units – these shops are hard to get.”

He said the nearest shop to Eriswell is in Lakenheath with limited parking. He is hoping that as news spreads about the shop in the area, people will realise it is more convenient than going to Lakenheath.

His shop manager Allan Doyle has 15 years experience in retail.

He said: “The old shop went out of business after 9-11 happened because all the passing trade in the area stopped.

“Now Lords Walk is more civilian than service personnel, we feel we fill a need.”

The Americans have shopping facilities on the base .

Allan added: “We’ve signed up with Londis for the support they provide.”

The shop has six staff and will sell everything you expect from a village store including newspapers, milk, bread, frozen food and sandwiches and drinks. They also offer a cashback service for credit card customers, to save the trip to the nearest cash machine.