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The Six Bells pub in Horringer near Bury St Edmunds set to become a new hub for the community

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A husband and wife team are in the process of turning the country pub they run into a new community hub for their village.

Nicky and Ricky Calder have run The Six Bells in Horringer, near Bury St Edmunds, since 2018.

The couple, who have have more 20 years hospitality industry experience between them, are in the process of diversifying their business to reflect ‘changing times’ in the pub industry.

The Six Bells in Horringer is expanding its operations. Salon owner Louise Chaplin with Six Bells owners Nicky and Ricky Calder. Picture: Mecha Morton
The Six Bells in Horringer is expanding its operations. Salon owner Louise Chaplin with Six Bells owners Nicky and Ricky Calder. Picture: Mecha Morton

Last month, the couple began to rent out one of two units at the pub, which is now a hairdressing salon. They have also teamed up with two eco-friendly companies to sell a range of household cleaning and personal care products, with a twist.

“We all know that the hospitality industry struggled in the pandemic and what we have found coming out of it, is that trade has been different, and so we are changing to reflect that,” said Ricky Calder.

“This is partly due to changing habits but also with the current cost-of-living crisis affecting people’s disposable income.

The Six Bells in Horringer
The Six Bells in Horringer

“It gave us time to think how best to build on the pub business by creating a community hub for the village, and visitors, which from the reactions over the bar from customers, seems popular.”

Louise’s Hair, run by Louise Chaplin, opened at the pub at the beginning of May. It was followed by The Six Bells beginning to stock household cleaning items such as washing up liquid, hand soap, all-purpose cleaner and washing powder.

The products are supplied by an eco-friendly company called Fill.

They are sold in glass bottles which can be be refilled at the pub, to save on packaging.

The refill centre
The refill centre

The pub now also stocks items including toothpaste tablets and bamboo earbuds from a company called Non Plastic Beach, which provides alternatives to plastic packaging

Ricky and Nicky have also recently been in touch with the Royal Mail to enquire about opening a Post Office at the pub, which they hope to run alongside a new village shop at the venue, selling essential foods and gifts.

“We’re hoping the village will get behind us in the a campaign for a post office as it is much needed, as is a village shop. Both of these closed down several years ago.” said Nicky.

Sample products
Sample products

“We are still very much a local pub, but are now also operating like a café during the day with people dropping in for coffee and cake, or a bun.

“We will let out a second unit at the pub to another business as soon as we can, which could be anything from a dog grooming parlour to a florist - and this way hope to offer a mix of services when people drop by.

“The pub industry is changing and we are really just moving with the times.”