A TENBURY man has taken the plunge and set up a new business in the town where he has given a vote of confidence to the outlook after the flooding and coronavirus.

‘Hamper Fayre’ in Teme Court is specialising in locally produced food and drink.

John Siviter, aged 60, has opened the shop in partnership with Florence Davies and they believe that it can help to build the reputation of Tenbury as a food town to rival its neighbour Ludlow.

“Tenbury is already starting to build a reputation for its food and drink which I am sure has the potential to increase,” said Mr Siviter who is seeing a hobby and an interest turn into a business.

“I love food and do a lot of cooking at home.

“Recently, I have spent a lot of time travelling throughout the Marches to visit different producers.

“There is excellent food and drink from this area and I feel that there are huge opportunities for smaller businesses.”

As well as local breads, Shropshire salumi and a range of gluten free food there will be a choice of three different local gins as well as locally produced white wines from Bishops Froome.

“I am looking to source a lot more local produce and expect to stock a wide range of wines,” Mr Siviter said.

The lease on the shop was signed just before the Covid-19 outbreak resulted in lockdown and so hoped to open the business in May had to be put on hold.

“What has happened to Tenbury with the flooding and then the coronavirus has been tragic,” said Mr Siviter.

“I hope that we can help to give Tenbury a boost as it recovers.

“If it happened again I would still go ahead because of I have a never say die attitude and if there is a willingness to work and belief then there will be opportunities.

“However, I do recognize that it is very hard for many people.”

Mr Siviter is qualified as a Chartered Management Accountant and at one time ran his own management consultancy.

He has run a number if businesses and is still involved with a static caravan site in Wales.

As well as the shop a website has been launched and he believes that this will bring in most of the business.

“The online business is going to be very important but there will always be a shop in Tenbury,” added Mr Siviter who moved to Tenbury from Stourbridge 30 years ago.

“This was not a snap decision and the thinking about it began in the early part of 2019.

“I think that the coronavirus may mean that more people will do their shopping locally and so there could be some benefit for smaller independent shops.”

He said that there are a range of food businesses and shops in Tenbury that will hopefully draw people in from outside as well as meeting the needs of locals.

“As with many businesses I expect the most busy time of the year will be between October and January but we have a range of products that people will want to buy throughout the year.”

The coronavirus has resulted in the need to restrict the number of people who can come into the shop at any one time.

There is hand sanitiser available and staff will wear masks as well as being behind a screen.