British gourmet shops do great business

Despite recession, good ideas, ingenuity, and long hours hold the key to success in Britain as in other countries.

Deep in rural Gloucestershire gourmet food shops have opened -- to a roaring trade.

William Beeston, formerly owner of a restaurant, cannot sell enough of his homemade pate, squid, fish soup, cheeses, and venison. People drive from miles around to browse through his shop in the Cotswold town of Nailsworth.

Not only does Gloucestershire appreciate marinated mackerel, boned and stuffed ducks at 10 pounds (about $18) apiece, and chicken carcasses for soup stock at 35p (some 63 cents), but customers like the idea of tasting tiny samples before they buy.

Mr. Beeston works long hours to meet a demand for quality food to be served at home -- at a time when recession is prompting many people to eat in more often.

''He's there at 5:00 a.m. making bread,'' Rae Beeston said on the telephone, ''and if we cater a function, we're there at 3:00 a.m. as well. If people see us , we'll serve them. . . .''

In the village of Painswick, Juliet Broadhurst has just opened an epicure shop. She works until 6:30 p.m. each week day, and from 10 to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Her spices, bread, salmon, cakes, and quiche have quickly become local favorites.

Proprietors of both shops say the key is high quality and long opening hours.

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