A MUCH-loved shop has risen from the ashes in Newcastle Emlyn – but there’s new faces behind the counter.

Llandysul couple Richard and Sophie Brayley have taken over the running of the Riverside Health Shop, at Adpar, which had been closed since a devastating arson attack last November.

Previous owner Hazel Butterworth decided the time was right to pass on the reins once the rebuilding works had been completed and the business is once again up and running.

Sophie and Richard, who have three young children – Jack, seven, Jude, three and six-months-old Erin – will run the shop together.

“We have been coming to the shop for a long time and when the opportunity was mentioned that it might be for sale, it just seemed like the time was right,” said Sophie, who has previously worked in marketing while Richard worked for the Arcade at Llandysul.

“Everything fell into place and it all happened so smoothly.”

The shop front has been restored to its original condition based on old photographs following the fire 10 months ago.

“It is great to see people coming back into the shop and the support we have had from the local community since reopening has been incredible,” said Sophie.

And taking pride of place behind the counter is a picture of her great great grandfather, John William Cheshire, who rana general provisions store in Derby back in the 1890s.

“It does seem a bit strange that we are now running a shop but we could not be happier about the future and we have to keep pinching ourselves that it is ours.”

Previous owner Hazel said: “I have truly loved my time at Riverside Health over the last 11 years – it has been an amazing adventure.

“I am deeply grateful to all my wonderful colleagues, friends and customers who helped me immediately after the fire and who supported me during the long period of the rebuild. It is a joy to see the shop open again.

“After the fire destroyed the shop, I realised it was time for somebody else to take Riverside into a new and expansive future. Sophie and Richard came along just before it was due to re-open with the perfect mix of knowledge, awareness and enthusiasm.

“I am so pleased for them and for the loyal customers and local community.”

It is also planned to re-open the therapy suites in the rooms above the shop.