A LITTLE taste of Dorset is winging its way to California, as part of what has become an unusual story of transatlantic twinning.

Thorncombe village shop recently got a message on their Facebook page from a shopping mall in Southern California, telling them how, while searching ‘beautiful shops’ on the internet, they came across the frontage of the recently renovated shop.

The Americans loved it so much they copied the design for one of their own shopfronts, and through making contact, a new friendship has developed between the two enterprises.

After receiving a gift package of Californian goods, including local honey and handicrafts, Thorn-combe volunteers have responded by sending a little taste of what Thorncombe has to offer – a Thorncombe Shop apron and canvas bag, a Thorncombe Calendar, some Moores Dorset Knobs and cards by the village art group, to show just how much goes on in this corner of England.

Shop volunteer Amy Ralph said: “We are used to getting walkers and cyclists from further and further afield these days, but to have contact from California was a big surprise. It’s lovely to hear from another small, dynamic enterprise, and in showing off what we have to offer.”

Villagers borrowed £127,000 from West Dorset District Council in 2009 after the previous own retired and sold the shop.

A management committee was formed to get the store up and running.

It is now owned by Thorncombe Parish Council and run by the Thorncombe Village Shop Association, a not-for-profit organisation.