Rob Steed, landlord at The Lamb in Newport and The Measure Inn in Caldicot, has opened Unit 35 on Newport Road in the town
A Newport and Caldicot pub landlord has opened a new grocery store in Caldicot in response to the challenges on his boozers due to the pandemic.
Rob Steed, landlord at The Lamb in Newport and The Measure Inn in Caldicot, has opened Unit 35 on Newport Road in the town, selling groceries, sweets, pastries, cakes and fish, and explained how he is confident Caldicot is well-placed for resurgence in the face of the pandemic.
Town mayor Cllr David Evans officially opened the store on Monday.
It signalled an important day for Caldicot, with all but two empty units on Newport Road now close to being filled, with a Russian supermarket and a children’s nursery the next to move in.
Reflecting on his first weekend since opening the doors on Thursday, Mr Steed said: I’m delighted – it’s been really busy, surprisingly so. We’ve had lots of support from fellow traders, and I just hope people keep supporting us.
We had officially planned to open today but we just couldn’t wait to get going. We’ve been bored with what’s going on with pubs, so we couldn’t wait to get our teeth into it.
Mr Steed isn’t completely new to the field; in December he ran a temporary grocery store from The Measure Inn in attempt to tackle financial losses incurred due to the lockdown.
It went so well we decided we had to give it a go, he said. Since we stopped the temporary shop at the pub people have constantly been asking me if I’ll bring it back. With the units being filled now I am hoping the high street will pick up – there is potential here. With restrictions likely to continue for a while I hope people will come and try the new stores rather than travelling elsewhere.
Henry Johnson, who has joined Mr Steed on his new venture, could be the youngest joint business owner in Gwent at just 18 years old said: It’s a good time to be in the town. It’s been very quiet here for a while, but we’re confident that’s going to change. People seem to be enjoying the store so far – it’s promising.
I joined Rob at The Measure Inn when I was 16 and really enjoyed working with him. After he asked me to come with him and do this I just couldn’t wait, he said.
Mr Steed plans to balance his work at the store with preparations at the pubs – but he is desperate for clarity from the Welsh Government.
In England and Scotland guidance has been issued to allow pubs to open outdoors in April if cases continue to fall, but in Wales Mark Drakeford refused to make any commitments to a target date.
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