The Gourmet Grocer is the newest shop to open on Highcliffe high street, offering a range of fresh fruit and vegetables, pantry goods, freshly-baked cakes and alcoholic beverages.

Husband and wife Gareth and Clare Johnston opened their second greengrocers on Lymington Road last week.

Bournemouth Echo: An array of produce at the Gourmet GrocerAn array of produce at the Gourmet Grocer

The homely and welcoming shop has already gone down an absolute storm with the community and already has a flurry of repeat customers.

The pair have had their Fordingbridge store for four years and after a busy pandemic - offering free delivery to customers and a range of fresh boxes including a ‘roast dinner box’ - they were able to branch out and open their newest store.

After holidaying in Highcliffe and realising the potential for a greengrocers, the couple set about making their dream a reality and opened their fully refurbished store last week.

Since then, they’ve made quite the impression on residents and shoppers alike with their wide range of produce - most of which is sourced locally.

Bournemouth Echo: Most of the produce at the Gourmet Grocer is sourced locallyMost of the produce at the Gourmet Grocer is sourced locally

Gareth said: “We have had a great response from the village, everyone’s really friendly and please to see that we have fresh vegetables and gifts for Christmas.

“People really like that we offer produce with less plastic and the range of cheeses has gone down a storm.

“We did a taster day on Saturday so people could try and buy - that went really well.

“It’s really lovely and it’s nice to see that people who came in at the weekend have come back again already and said that they had a nice shopping experience.”

From New Forest cheeses to award-winning cured meats from Dorset producer Capreolus Fine Foods, the grocers has a wide selection of fresh farm produce - as well as a plastic-free milk service where customers can buy or bring in their own bottle to fill up with Meggy Moo’s milk.

Alongside their fresh produce, the grocers offer locally produced alcoholic beverages such a Mermaid gin and vodka from the Isle of Wight, cider from Cranborne, Brook Hill wine from the New Forest and Conker Gin from Dorset.

Reminiscing on their fantastic four years of business, Gareth said: “During the pandemic we supported a lot of the locals in Fordingbridge and the community really came together.

“We can only grow as much as our local support allows.

“Produce obviously spoils and within so many days we won’t be able to sell it so we need to make sure that the footfall comes right - we’ll look after them if they look after us.”