Exbourne's 'inspirational' community shop and cafe celebrates 5 years of success Mel Stride, the MP for Central Devon said "The Burrow has been a huge success, providing a valuable amenity and post office service to residents not just in Exbourne but neighbouring parishes as well. I know it has been especially useful for residents who don't drive and can't easily get to Hatherleigh, North Tawton or Okehampton. It is an inspiration to communities who have lost their post office or last shop that with a vision and a lot of hard work rural communities can fight back. Everyone involved should be very proud." Selling everything from fruit and vegetables, to locally sourced meat, milk and bread, the shop has been going from strength to strength since it opened in 2012. At the end of July customers, volunteers and local councillors gathered to cut a cake to mark the occasion, at a special event in the purpose built underground shop. From cider makers to bakers, The Burrow stocks items from some of Devon's best local food and drinks producers and those gathered spent the evening enjoying many of them. Local Borough and County Councillor James McInnes says "I can't believe it's five years since the Burrow opened. It not only gives Exbourne and the wider area an excellent shop, but you can also drop in for tea, cake or lunch. The Saturday morning breakfast is very popular. All this has been achieved by a dedicated team of residents. Firstly, in achieving planning permission in difficult circumstances and secondly in giving a friendly and comprehensive service. The design of the shop is very innovative, making best use of the site and I' m not surprised the whole enterprise is getting awards" Sally Hordern was one of the people who campaigned to get The Burrow built, after the village shop and post office closed. Sally says "It's amazing what we've been able to achieve in the last 5 years. Everyone involved in The Burrow is incredibly proud of it. It's such a big achievement for a small village". One regular customer says “There aren't many community shops where you can buy everything from fresh fruit and veg to cooked ham, washing-up liquid and a newspaper, but you can at The Burrow. Having the post office means you can also get cash, buy stamps, post a parcel. We're so lucky to have it. At a time when small villages are losing services, Exbourne, which also has a pub, garage and the community shop, really is bucking the trend”. The Burrow has one full time member of staff, but volunteers play a massive part in keeping the shop and café going. Anyone interested in helping out, even for a few hours, is very welcome. The Burrow is often highlighted as a role model for other villages wanting to set up their own community shops. Most recently it was used as a case-study by the national organisation The Rural Coalition in their report into the future of the countryside. A real trailblazer. So, plenty of reasons to celebrate!.