'Sadness' as Sussex village gift shop and tea room announces closure
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The Cornstore Emporium and Tearoom at Swan Corner in Pulborough is to shut at the end of February.
Owner Helen Johnson announced the closure on social media ‘with a heavy heart.’
She said the premises’ lease was up for renewal “and after seeing the terms of the new lease we decided that we could not continue. The personal risks involved heavily outweigh the financial gain for us.”
In a statement, she added: “The last three years have presented us with many challenges, road closures, bridge repairs, parking problems and the extortionate increases in utility bills alongside the ever increasing threat of flooding.
"We have survived all of these and come out even stronger, we have enjoyed every minute, but there comes a time when the head has to overrule the heart.
“Hopefully someone shall continue a similar style of business at the property as we know how important it is for the village of Pulborough and as far as we are aware there are no plans to develop the building.
“Myself and my amazing Cornstore family of staff and traders would like to thank everyone who has shown us such loyalty, love and support over the last few years. We shall miss you and also our many furry friends terribly.”
The announcement has led to a wave of sadness among villagers as well as those further afield. Many have posted their views on social media saying how much they will miss the shop and tearoom and describing the closure as ‘a great shame.’
One woman said: “I hate it when great local places close, villages need these things to remain vibrant and strong. I don't live in Pulborough any more but this is a very sad day for you all.”
Another customer said: “I'm so sorry after all you have done and achieved.”
And another added: “Totally gutted for you all. Wonderful place to visit.” And yet another: “You will be greatly missed.”
Another customer said: “So sorry to see you go. Love everything about the Cornstore. Unique in every way.”