Combe Martin store still going strong

Joseph Bulmer

Sue’s of Combe Martin marks four decades in the village

A 40 year milestone has been celebrated by Sue’s of Combe Martin as the newsagent and convenience store marks four decades at its premises in the village.

When a newly-qualified teenage hairdresser from Coventry moved to Combe Martin in 1971, the then Sue Day had not expected she would still be running a thriving and expanding shop 40 years later.

On Friday customers were invited to join Sue Sussex and special guest Shaun Ellis, alias the “wolf man” to celebrate the occasion with a fun social afternoon that included a visit by Santa as well as free goodies, special offers and plenty of reminiscing.

The shop has expanded three times over the years and is now a newsagent, convenience store, off licence, also well known for its large range of toys.

Originally Sue bought Meakings Newsagents in partnership with her ex husband and his parents after the previous owners retired.

The name was kept, but most began to call it “Day’s” as time went on and the shop has been expanded three times over the years, including taking on the former butchers premises next door.

Once, a small army of paper boys set off each morning on bicycles – today papers are delivered by van and the business is the last “traditional” newsagents in the village, when once there were four.

The name changed to Sue’s of Combe Martin around 10 years ago, but as for most independent businesses, survival has not always been easy.

“A few years ago we had to look at the business thoroughly,” said Sue, who has also been a parish and district councillor for the village.

“We could not stand still and had to go with the times otherwise we would not have survived, but despite the growth we still maintain the stock we always had and it’s still the same shop.

“I’d like to take the opportunity to thank the people of Combe Martin and Berrynarbor for all their support during the past 40 years.”

She hopes that in the future her children will continue the family business and try to ensure another 40 years or more.