Shop and post office brought back from the brink by new owners
- Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND
A convenience store has been saved from closure to the delight of shoppers after being taken on by new owners.
The Rackheath post office and shop, located at the junction of Vera Road and Bernard Close, has been given a new lease of life with a double-side extension to the shop.
Owner Nishanthan Thangeswararajah and his brother Piratheepan Rajakoon took on the shop in July and reopened the premises to customers on Monday after a two-week closure for refurbishment.
The brothers, who are originally from Sri Lanka, also own stores in Lowestoft, Ludham, Beccles and Alexandra Road in Norwich.
They moved to the UK around 20 years ago and lived in London before relocating to East Anglia.
Mr Thangeswararajah said: "Customers seem to be very pleased and happy to see it open again.
"They are saying 'It used to be small and it is nice to have it a lot bigger now'."
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The layout of the post office has changed with the counter moved to a new position, while the shop has now been extended into what was formerly a living room.
"We felt this was a good opportunity for us given the surrounding area and lots of housing coming," Mr Thangeswararajah said.
"There are no other shops in the area."
Rackheath county and district councillor Fran Whymark, who lives opposite the shop, was invited to the opening ceremony to cut the ribbon on the new shop on Monday afternoon.
Mr Whymark said: "Lots and lots of post offices have been threatened with closure but the new owners have taken it on and kept it open.
"It is a real triumph, particularly in a rural area."
The councillor is pleased with the shop's new look which includes a new front as well as the internal extension.
"That shop is very well used in the community," Mr Whymark continued.
"A lot of people come down from the industrial estate. It would have been a huge loss to the community."
The Londis shop is open seven days a week and has extended its hours to 7am until 9pm.
The previous owners, who ran the shop for over a decade, were active in the community during the Covid lockdown, distributing deliveries to villagers in need.