Fourth generation store in Ingoldmells launches with afternoon tea deal for Mother's Day

The new management at a fourth generation store in Ingoldmells are offering meal deals to help make life easier for families and visitors - and they started with Mother's Day.

Thomas Higgins, Sarah Gillings (center) Christine Gillings on the first day under new management.
Thomas Higgins, Sarah Gillings (center) Christine Gillings on the first day under new management.

Sarah Gillings took over the Silver Beach Store a week ago - along with her good friend from school, Tom Higgins - and wasted no time coming up with new ideas to boost custom.

"I couldn't believe how busy our first weekend was - we were really not prepared for it," said Sarah, 26. "We are ready this week, though. It looks as if it's going to be another busy season."

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Before taking over, the family business in Anchor Lane was run by her aunt, Christine Gillings, who has now retired after 40 years.

Christine Gillings, aged about 18, when the business was a toy shop.

It was first opened by Sarah's great-grandfather as a toy shop and became a grocery store as it was passed down through the generations.

For Sarah, the transition has been a natural progression. She explained: "I've been helping out in the shop since I was 13 and so I'm really excited to take it over and keep it in the family.

"I have two younger sisters and cousins who also help out at weekends and in the holidays, so it's still a real family business."

Joining them, Tom was a supervisor at M&S in Skegness and so has a wealth of experience in food retail.

The store made the headlines in the Standard 20 years ago when Christine Gillings had it refurbished.

"I've known Tom since school so I was really excited when he agreed to join me," said Sarah. "I also help run another family business, Silver Beach Caravan Park, with my father Michael Gillings, so it's great to know the shop is in good hands when I'm not there."

Tom commented: "I'm really excited for this opportunity to continue and improve an already established business within this community.

"We're thankful for the ongoing loyalty and support from our already amazing cistomers."

In addition to Sarah and Tom, there are around 15 employees at the store, including one member of staff, Sheila Perry, who has been there 23 years.

A family picture at the Silver Beach Caravan Park office after its refurbishment.

"It's a lovely store to work at because we have a lot of local customers and everyone knows us," said Sarah. "Roy Green is famous at the checkout."

A 'Today' Convenience Store, as well as the value lines are also fresh counters, including meat and bakery.

"We cook our own hams and pork scratching and our cakes are from Pocklington's Bakery in Louth, who produce the award-winning Lincolnshire Plumbread," added Sarah. "We are already looking at introducing some new ideas, including meal deals to help make life easier for our customers and visitors."

After handing the store over, Christine commented: "It's been a fabulous 40 years of business.

Sheila Perry (center) who has worked for the shop for 23 years.

"I've met some great staff over the years as well as our valued customers.

"Knowing that the shop is in such great hands with Tom and Sarah helps me look forward to my retirement all the more."

Roy Green has worked for us for over 17 years.
The afternoon tea deal for Mother's Day.