Textiles lecturer Genevieve Sioka and her Greek husband Thomas Siokas are defying the recession by setting up a small business, in Castle Combe, where they have lived for three years.

Court Cottage Gifts, on Market Place, sells souvenirs and gifts, many made locally.

Mr Siokas, 33, has left his job as a chef at the Olive Tree in Bath to run the shop.

And Mrs Sioka, 30, will be helping out over the summer before she returns to her job, lecturing fashion textiles at Swindon College.

The couple took the plunge on opening their first shop because they have a new baby and were looking for work with more sociable hours.

Mrs Sioka said: “We kept clashing, my husband working weekends and me through the week.

“As the high street is supposedly dying out, we feel quite privileged to have opened a gift shop in the rural location of Castle Combe, promoting local artisans and great British design.

“We’ve had a steady stream of people since opening.

“It’s a place to get a nice present without having to go all the way to Bath.

“A good half of it is local design.

“With the MA in textiles at Bath Uni, they’re churning out some lovely hand-embroidered leather work.”

Among the items on sale are wallets, cushions and jewellery made in Bristol and Bath, ceramics from Hams-well, and honey, fudge and candles from Castle Combe itself.