A shop in Norfolk crowned the best in the region has shared the secrets to its success.

The Gardoldisham Village Store and Post Office was named the best village shop in the East of England by the 2024 Countryside Alliance Awards.

Known as the 'Rural Oscars', the awards celebrate businesses that "go the extra mile within their communities, supporting the local economy and championing local goods and services".

Thetford & Brandon Times: The Garboldisham Village Store has been named the best shop in the East of EnglandThe Garboldisham Village Store has been named the best shop in the East of England (Image: Denise Bradley)Robbie Starling, who owns the shop with his wife said: “We are totally surprised and totally honoured.

"We just can’t thank people enough for voting for us - it’s really nice to be recognised by our customers.

"We’re chuffed to bits."

The couple previously worked in the diamond industry in Botswana before deciding to move to the countryside and swap precious stones for locally made goods.

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They took over the village store and post office in Garboldisham in 2014 and have expanded its services from selling produce to services as diverse as tennis court hire, dry cleaning and a book swap club.

Mr Starling believes their success is down to making sure that all demographics are catered to. 

He added: "We’re not one dimensional - if we have a product we’ll have the high-end artisan version but we’ll also have the lower and middle ranges too.

"We are constantly trying to come up with new ideas and services for the shop and we champion local businesses.

"Things like bread, fruit, vegetables, cakes and beer - so many products are not just local but really local, either from this village or the surrounding villages."

Having beaten the regional competition, they will now go on to compete at the national finals held at the House of Lords in June. 

Mr Starling is running the London Marathon for the fourth time this Sunday and is raising funds for Battersea Dogs & Cats Home.