AN enterprising pair have shown plenty of bottle to open a new Saddleworth business during the coronavirus pandemic.
Lou Henderson and Dave Bell have put their heart and sole into taking over a former Cobblers shop at Road End in Greenfield.
While future success for the pair is far from a shoe in, early signs are their decision to take over the premises will be vindicated.
Certainly, when Amy Saggerson closed her Terra Nino delicatessen for health reasons earlier this year, the prospects for the building were put in doubt.
Instead Dave, from Greenfield, and Uppermill-based Lou were quick to see the potential and ensure the longevity of an established village amenity.
Indeed, they are keen to engage with the community to make The Old Cobblers more than a one-stop shop for fine wines and craft beers.
Already, they are working with local businesses to supplement their alcohol sales with home-made bread, cheeses, pies, Greenfield produced brownies – and even doughnuts from Mossley!
You can also enjoy freshly made coffee, sourced from Dark Woods in Marsden, while browsing the shelves.
“We had spoken about doing something together in Greenfield and we had to act fast,” said Edinburgh-born Lou.
“I have managed beers for 20-odd years and always wanted to open a bottle shop,” added Dave, originally from Cornwall before moving to the North West.The duo originally met at The Deaf Institute in Manchester, with the working relationship continuing at Trof, another city centre bar and eaterie.
“This makes sense because Lou is mad into her wines and I am mad into beers,” said Dave.
“And we both love Saddleworth.
“I had been here once years ago and to me it’s a hidden gem. It may not have the scale of the Lakes but it is beautiful.”
Added Lou: “I love Saddleworth, my partner is from here and I have always thought it would be lovely to do something round here.
“The locals are amazing and I could chat all day to them. Everyone has been really supportive with lots of nice comments about the shop.
“That’s why we are open to suggestions what locals want; we want it to be a community shop rather than just a bottle shop. We want people to interact.”
From a wide and varied selection, a Spanish tempranillo called Gran Cerdo (Big Pig) is already proving popular while customers might want to try Splash, a natural fizzy wine.
The beers come from far and wide: Donkeystone in Greenfield to ales from Europe and America.Due to pandemic restrictions, The Old Cobblers does not currently offer seating as previously at Terra Nino.
But post Covid-19, the introduction of tables and themed nights could well be part of an extended menu.
“For now, we aim to give people what they want and in return they can support an independent, local business,” said Lou.