A mum-of-two whose business was hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic has taken the plunge by opening her very own sandwich shop in the heart of Fordingbridge.

Verity’s Sandwich Shop on Bridge Street has been open for just seven weeks but is already going “from strength to strength”.

Owner Verity Smallwood, 33, had been running a well-established cleaning business but had to rethink her career options as a result of the pandemic.

She said: “I had a cleaning business which I had for 10 years and it was really successful and then Covid hit us all and I lost my holiday lets because no-one was going on holiday.

“I thought, I love cooking, I love people, customer service is very important to me – seeing children’s little happy faces when they get a milkshake – and when the shop came I up, my partner and father-in-law said they’d help me with the works.”

After four months of works to renovate the premises, Verity’s shop finally opened on April 17.

Much to her delight, it’s been a success.

“It’s still early days but it’s going amazing, the support from the locals has been fantastic, I just didn’t expect to be so busy so soon,” she said.

Among customers’ favourites are Verity’s special hot and spicy wraps and BBQ chicken wraps.

Brie and bacon paninis, as well as vegetarian ones, are also proving popular, she says, as are her milkshakes with real Mr Whippy ice cream and their vegan and gluten-free alternatives with either soy or oat milk.

“We’ve had quite a lot of children and adults with intolerances so it’s important for me to be able to offer a range for everybody,” she added.

Originally from Colchester in Essex, Verity moved to Fordingbridge when she was 18 after falling in love with the town during her many visits with friends and family.

Although she now lives in Ringwood, being able to open a business in Fordingbridge made her venture “even more special”.

Verity’s Sandwich Shop is open from 8am to 5pm Tuesday to Friday, from 10am to 4pm on Saturday and from 12pm to 4pm on Sunday.

Get more Forest Journal news.

You can also like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter and Instagram to stay up to date.

Email newsdesk@salisburyjournal.co.uk with your comments, pictures, letters and news stories.