Video: Mine's a pint, six eggs and a box of Omo, landlord

POPPING down to the shops for a pint of milk has long provided a golden opportunity for many to nip into their local for a quick glass of something a little stronger.

For the 300 or so residents in the North Yorkshire picture postcard village of Coxwold, they no longer need an excuse.

Its only shop, which shut in March 2008 when the village post office closed, has now reopened inside the local pub.

Now alongside their pints of beer and packets of pork scratchings, visitors to the Fauconberg Arms can pick up papers, household goods, fruit and veg and even Christmas cards.

The new shop is the brainchild of licensees Simon and Helen Rheinberg, both aged in their 50s, and despite only being open a week has already seen a huge surge in customers propping up the bar for their daily groceries.

But just 12 months ago, the pair admit the glass was definitely looking half-empty as the reccession nearly forced their business under leaving the village another victim of rural decline.

Simon, who gave up his business restoring AGA cookers to take over the 17th century pub four years ago, said: "It had always been my dream to run a pub, I never thought I would be running a shop as well.

"When we first took over here it was really good and beyond all our expectations but then the recession started to bite and it affected us very badly, people were just not coming in.

"It got worse and worse and we became quite desperate - the dream definitely turned sour.

"The only village shop shut three years ago when its former owner Arthur Watters retired.

"It left the village absolutely desperate for a shop and the impact it had on Coxwold was massive.

"We didn't want to leave the village with no pub as well so we decided we needed to do something about it."

In the summer of 2009, Simon and Helen applied to Welcome to Yorkshire, an organisation designed to boost tourism across the region for help and secured 25,000 in rural development grants which they then had to match.

The pair overhauled the seven bedrooms in the pub, turning it from three star accomodation to five star accomodation, and started to work on the shop.

"The shop was always part of our game plan", said Simon, "We did it as much as anything for the community.

"When we opened up it was the first day of really heavy snow but the

response was absolutely brilliant.

"The roads were practically impassable but we had people walking here from up to two miles away to come and get their groceries.

"At one point we had about 70 people in the shop and pub - the place was full.

"Since the opening it is now bringing a lot more people into the pub.

"Obviously we are going through a honeymoon period but our turnover has increased by around 25 per cent.

"It is absolutely horrendous what has happened to a lot of village pubs and shops in Yorkshire since the recession and we are just delighted that we have managed to keep this going.

"It's been a rollercoaster few years but the difference 12 months has made is simply amazing."

The shop, which is located in the pub's reception area, sells fruit and veg, specially made cheeses from Richmond, sweets, general household goods and has a deli.

Arthur Watters, 67, who ran the old village shop for nearly 30 years, said: "It is a great idea.

"It is a bit strange going into another shop in Coxwold, especially one that is at the pub, but it is really good to see.

"I always said I would retire from the shop when I was 65 but nobody wanted to take it over.

"It is so important for villages to keep their local amenities.

"I have been in a few times since it opened and I get waves of nostalgia even though it is completely different inside - although it does look very nice."

The official opening of the pub was attended by Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, last week.

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