Number 1 Main Street, Littleport, was once Fred Brown’s Bridal Shop. But then two years ago it was transformed into a convenience store, Costcutter.
Costcutter’s friendly proprietor, Thillaivarothayan Poopalsingam, says he’s no stranger to country life himself, having been born and brought up in a small village in Sri Lanka.
“My brother-in-law has a corner shop in Cambridge, and he used to run convenience stores in both Soham and Waterbeach,” so I got an idea of what it was like said Thillaivarothayan, who didn’t have an easy start after moving into their new shop in 2015.
“We bought the shop in March, and began trading in July, and then we were broken into just before Christmas time.
Realistically we know these are the risks you have to take when running a store, but I really didn’t expect it to happen in a village like Littleport, so it really was a bit of a shock,” said Thillaivarothayan, who says since changing the times of trading there seems more of an uptake of customers especially on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
Costcutter now opens at 6.30 am but they are literally the last shop to close at 10.30 pm which is very convenient, if you happen to run out of milk, nappies, toilet paper or need the gas card or electricity key charging and topping up.
“If there is a certain item a customer needs, we do order it in, which is what I think running a local village shop is all about – looking after its customers,” stated Thillaivarothayan, who went on to reveal why he had in fact left Cambridge to come and live in a village like Littleport.
“I knew there were other well established businesses in Littleport, but I also know that Costcutter has a good reputation as convenience stores go, so it prompted me to take up the challenge, and my wife Shiva Gowir and I are pleased we came to live and work in this friendly village.”