The resurgence in shopping and supporting local business over the last 12 months have proven to a lifesaver for one rural business near Selby.
The award winning Monk Fryston Stores and Barn Guest House run by husband and wife team Faye and Kevin Coles have seen a resurgence in customers and a renewed support for locally produced goods in their store.
Faye said: “With all of the challenges that businesses have faced since March 2020, we have definitely found that diversity in business and supporting other local producers has been the key to our survival on our rural high street.
“Due to local bank closures and the online shopping boom during the pandemic we’ve seen a surge in demand for our in-store Post Office and during the early lockdowns the local villagers certainly made good use of us as their primary source of purchasing quality, locally produced goods and gifts. This success has thankfully offset the lockdown closures in our guest house which has unfortunately been closed to visitors for much of the year.”
Situated in the heart of the village and originally a small farmstead, the building has now served the community as the Village Stores for over 100 years.
Undergoing a complete refurbishment in the summer of 2018, the team go to great lengths to stock a wide range of fresh and frozen produce, predominantly from Yorkshire suppliers, with many from within a 5 mile radius. The same quality local produce also feeds the guests in The Barn under normal circumstances and the team also source and stock gifts and handmade goods from a number of local crafts people.
As well as sourcing locally, The Coles have also put their own stamp on the shop by creating their own Monk Foodie label which includes a range of hand baked treats such as puddings, cakes, biscuits, and chocolates as well as arange of jams and chutneys produced on their behalf by The Fruity Kitchen in York.
Faye continues: “We have difficulty keeping up with demand for our own label products as customers know they are made from the best quality local ingredients. Again, this has helped sustain the business after having to close the guest house for so long, but we’re thrilled that our customers love the products and are able to support us in this way.
“Situated in the heart of the village and the community we can wholeheartedly recommend the rewarding, community- focused lifestyle that comes with owning such a business as this and though now looking towards retirement after almost 12 years at the Village Stores, we feel very privileged indeed to have been at the centre of Village life in such a thriving rural community. The Village Stores were trading from this spot during the ‘Spanish Flu’ pandemic over 100 years ago and it’s great to see that a century later it still has an important part to play in community life.”
For more information and to enquire about booking a stay at The Barn visit www.monkfrystonvillagestores.co.uk