SEVEN years ago the oldest resident and the youngest school pupil in Rufforth were invited to perform a very special duty.

They officially opened The Old School Village Store and Tea Room returning life to the village and reuniting old neighbours and introducing the new.

The Old School Rufforth is very much a community enterprise with many of the local people being involved in its development.

Local builders, craftsmen and gardeners helped passionately in the restoration of the old school building, instilling community values and culture.

However it is the family ethos behind the venture that owners are hoping will secure them a place on the shortlist by entering the Family Business of the Year


The Italian family influence is apparent in the daily traditional pasta dishes prepared by family members.

The shop stocks the usual essential items as well as specialties such as fresh baked bread and deli items.

If items are not available in the shop Frank Di Lorenzo the owner and proprietor has

been known to source it personally.

The business moto of ‘Personal Service is our way

of life’ is installed by all the team.

Many of the products are sourced locally.

These include local honey, garden produce, Voakes Pies as well as homemade greeting and post cards sold in the shop.

The community has also provided plants, flowers and herbs for the garden area used for al fresco eating, weather permitting.

Nine local people are employed in the running of the business and they are all very proud of what has been achieved.