THERE is an abundance of independent trade in the picturesque village of Ombersley.

With a history stretching back to the eighth century, agriculture has played an important role for the community near Droitwich.

Today there is a High Street peppered with family-run businesses from the award-winning Checketts butcher shop to the prestigious Crown and Sandys restaurant.

Checketts of Ombersley, now in its fourth generation in the business, was officially established in 1925.

It has been widely-known as one of Worcestershire’s best butcher shops for decades and has an enviable reputation for locally-produced meats as well as its prize-winning sausages and pies.

Tony Checkett, who helped run the business with his brother Phil, is semi-retired from the shop but now runs his own pig roast and barbecue company based out of the butchers. “I’ve been doing it on and off for years,” said Mr Checkett.

“We used to be integrated with the rest of the business, but now I pretty much run it on my own. The reputation of Checketts precedes us and it certainly helps.”

Many of Worcestershire’s most successful local traders have spent years building up reputations and, while none were safe from the crush of the credit crunch, many are still going strong.

“It hasn’t changed that much for me,” said Mr Checkett. “Pig roasts are, if anything, becoming more popular. But it’s fair to say that that may be because people haven’t got such disposable incomes anymore.”

Caroline Cassel runs the King’s Arms restaurant in Ombersley with her husband Nick and agrees that a buoyant reputation goes a long way.

“Of course having a reputation plays a big part,” she said.

“We’re in the final of the Worcestershire Welcome Awards [run by Destination Worcestershire], we’ve got the cask marquee and we’re part of the Open for Dogs campaign, too. It all helps and we’re doing better than last year.”

As well as serving up fresh, seasonal produce and using local suppliers such as Ombersley Bakery, Dunns butchers and Goodmans of Great Witley, the historic King’s Arms offers real ale for drinkers who like to know where their beer comes from.

Ombersley is also home to the independently-owned Old School House Garage, Holt Fleet Convenience Store, Ombersley Memorial Hall and Ombersley Wines and Delicatessen.