There were smiles all around as the family behind Garstang’s newly combined Post Office and convenience store officially opened their shop to the public.
And the grand opening marked the end of a long process for Postmasters Nalin and Anita Patel, who took over the reigns of the previous Co-op Food shop in High Street at the beginning of the year.
The shop now operates as a One Stop Stores convenience outlet and to streamline their businesses the couple moved their next door Post Office in 39 High Street next door into the One Stop store, something Anita said was to make their business more viable.
Michael Renshaw, Post Office Area Network Change Manager, said: “We are making it easier for customers to get their cash, send and collect their mail and do their banking because we know how important these services are to local residents.
He added: “We are confident that this vibrant new-style Post Office at the heart of the local community will meet customer needs.”
The opening welcomed students from Garstang St Thomas’ CE Primary School and the school’s head teacher, Mr Jim Blakely, to cut the ribbon and enjoy a free spread of food as well as face painting.
The Patels closed the Post Office two weeks ago ahead of its move to the One Stop stop, with Postmaster Nalin asking the public to bear with them while the move takes place.
The move sees an expansion on Post Office opening hours, from the run-of-the-mill 9am to 5:30pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 2:30pm on Saturday to 7am to 9pm Monday to Saturday as well as 8am to 9pm on Sunday, offering 97 more hours of service every week.
Franchise operations controller (North) at OneStop, Matt Elliott, praised the “great team at Garstang”, adding that its “customer service is top class”.