An antique store and tearoom has announced its closure due to “extortionate” bill increases.

The Cornstore Emporium and Tearoom will shut its doors for good from the end of February next year.

Owner Helen Johnson said the “personal risks” outweigh the financial gain as a business but thanked customers for their loyalty.

The business, which is next to the Swan Bridge in Pulborough, said there have been many challenges for the business since Helen took it over in June 2020.

She said: “With a very heavy heart I can confirm my business The Cornstore Emporium and Tearoom is sadly leaving at the end of February.


“My lease was up for renewal and after seeing the terms of the new lease we decided that we could not continue, the personal risks involved heavily outweigh the financial gain for us.

"The last three years have presented us with many challenges, road closures, bridge repairs, parking problems and the extortionate increases in utility bills alongside the ever-increasing threat of flooding.

“We have survived all of these and come out even stronger, we have enjoyed every minute, but there comes a time when the head has to overrule the heart.

“Hopefully someone shall continue a similar style of business at the property as we know how important it is for the village of Pulborough and as far as we are aware there are no plans to develop the building.

“Myself and my amazing Cornstore family of staff and traders would like to thank everyone who has shown us such loyalty, love, and support over the last few years. We shall miss you and also our many furry friends terribly.”

Customers paid tribute to the business on Facebook and said it will be “greatly missed”.

Felicity Stroud said: “I'm so sorry Helen, after all you have done and achieved. Wishing you all the very best.”

Mandy Colwell said: “So very sorry to hear this, we've been visiting for years. You have to do what's right for you though, enjoy the last few months you have there. It's a lovely place.”