Post office taken over by brothers from London

TWO brothers have taken over Henley post office.

Sachin, 39, and Vinit Patel, 42, from London, had never visited the town before they began negotiations to buy the business in Reading Road.

The pair have run a post office in Edgware for the past four years and will now run both branches.

Sachin Patel said: “When the opportunity came up we talked to the owner and got to know him a bit and he decided to sell.

“It all happened very quickly, in about 10 days or so.

“I’d never been to Henley before — we came for the first time to see the post office. It’s a peaceful area and people are very softly spoken. We’ve had a nice welcome and hopefully that will continue.”

The brothers are planning to keep the retail section of the shop, which sells stationery, cards, confectionary and drinks.

Mr Patel said: “We might also do things like flowers for Mother’s Day. It’s all in our head, so we’ll see how it goes. We might have a bit of a change of layout.”

He said he enjoyed working with his brother, adding: “We’re very close. At the moment he is the head postmaster and I am the sub-postmaster but we might change that to me or someone else.

“We are not recruiting at the moment, we will have to wait see.”

The brothers, who are both married with one son each, are originally from Gujarat in India. Their late father was a farmer, who died from covid-19.

Mr Patel said that his 13-year-old son Krish was excited to visit Henley but hadn’t been able to yet because he was at school.

“He’ll probably pop in at the weekend,” he said. “I’ll bring my wife, Lopa, and my nephew. We’ll clear out some things we don’t need and put things in the right place.”

Mr Patel used to be a barista in London and said: “I see there are lots of coffee shops in Henley.”

He has already met Lorraine Hillier, who runs Hot Gossip on the opposite side of the street from the post office.

He said: “We had a chat and I said to her, ‘I need to try your coffee’. She said, ‘You’re welcome any time’.”

Ms Hillier, who is also a town councillor, said she was pleased the post office had a guaranteed future.

She added: “[Mr Patel] was very nice and seemed very able with what he was doing. He said they’re going to make it so much smarter.”

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