The clip-clop of hooves has become a familiar sound at a new Horsley Woodhouse food store which counts a horse among its first customers.
Conker the horse has become a regular face at the Central England Co-op on Main Street since it opened its doors on Friday, May 26.
Store manager Paul Robinson said: “We all think it is absolutely great to have Conker as one of our customers.”
Conker’s owner Ellie Spencer lives across the road from the store, and was eagerly awaiting the opening since building began.
The builders on-site got used to seeing Conker throughout the build, and Ellie kept in touch with the Co-op on social media with updates on their visits.
Now Ellie often rides him to her house, where she has a quick cup of coffee and he has a bit of time for a rest and a Co-op carrot.
She said: “We are very pleased with the new store it’s a breath of fresh air for the village community and it’s like new life has been injected back into it.
“It’s so convenient for us as a family living opposite the store. We have made several visits since it opened and will most definitely be regulars.”
The staff are all now used to seeing the Traditional Gypsy Cob, and he has become something of a store mascot.
Paul added: “Conker is a great character and we all enjoy it when Ellie brings him over. I have never had a horse as a customer before.”
The opening of the food store means thats a wide range of products and services are now available to village residents from 7am to 10pm every day of the week.
The Horsley Woodhouse store was one of two the Co-op opened in Derbyshire last month.
It stocks fresh fruit and vegetables, an in-store bakery offering breads and pastries, chilled beers and wines, fresh and frozen products, and a selection of food to go.
The store also offers Paypoint, Collect Plus, foreign currency, a free car park and a free cash machine.
More than £1.25million has been spent on the store, which features the latest in pioneering new energy efficient refrigeration technologies to minimise environmental impact and LED lighting.
It was constructed on the site of a former working men’s club, and has created around 30 new jobs.
Co-op members can earn rewards for local charities and community organisations every time they shop.
To find out more, visit www.members.coop.