Hoxne Deli and Tea Rooms set to close
Almost a year after a village’s post office was saved and a tea room and deli was opened, the venture is set to close.
A sign has gone up in the window of Hoxne Deli and Tea Rooms announcing the imminent closure of the business, which was taken on by husband and wife David and Joan Rogers last year.
“We haven’t made a go of it,” said Mrs Rogers, who has been living in the village for 25 years.
“We have given it a good go, but we can’t go on any longer.”
The couple bought the property in Low Street in April 2018 after finding out it was for sale.
They managed to keep the post office open apart from a brief spell while the property was being prepared for the new ventures.
Hoxne Deli and Tea Rooms offered typical village shop stock, local produce and fresh vegetables to more than 800 residents in the village and the wider Norfolk and Suffolk area.
The tea rooms served snacks and hot drinks, while the B&B upstairs attracted tourists to the area.
Resident Jeremy Macdonogh, who has been living in the village for 16 years, said: “I think it’s very sad and it will be a great loss for the village as a whole.
“I think it’s important to have a post office in Hoxne and it’s really nice to have a village shop where you can go and get bits and pieces that you might have forgotten on your supermarket run. I used it regularly.”
The 71-year-old added: “I hope somebody will have the sense to buy it very soon.”
The tea rooms have already shut their doors and the post office is due to close on December 30.
All deli stock is being sold off at reduced prices.
“I would like to thank the customers that we have had for their support,” added Mrs Rogers.
“We hope that somebody will take it over.”
Lisa Smith, a regular user of the post office and owner of the Hoxne Swan Inn, also spoke of what a loss it will be for the village, especially for people needing to withdraw money.
“Everyone is devastated. It’s a shame to lose the post office, because that’s where people get their cash and deliveries,” she said.
“I used to get my change for the bar and I was always going over to get post cards and envelopes. There was always a queue of people in there to use it to withdraw cash.”
Ms Smith added: “Once that’s gone, the locals won’t be able to go in there and get money out; it’s their version of a hole in the wall.
“It’s a massive loss, if there is a chance to keep the post office open, that would be important.
Hoxne Parish Council told the Diss Express that it will be looking into ways to retain the service at its next December meeting.
Parish council clerk Sarah Foote said: “The parish council is concerned about it and will be looking at anything we can do to assist in ensuring a post office service is still provided in the village.
“As a local council, we have limited powers in what we actually can do, but we will be looking into it at our December meeting.”
She added: “It’s a quite a loss for the village. People were able to pick up their prescriptions from the health centre at the shop.
“It’s very sad and disappointing.”
More by this authorVictoria Scheer