Ahead of July’s national Independent Retailer Month, we’re taking a look at some of the unsung heroes of our high streets.
This week we’re focusing on Wellingborough, the market town which is set for its biggest growth since the 1960s with the Stanton Cross scheme bringing 3,650 houses to the area.
While free car parking is a definite advantage to shopping and eating out here, there are plenty of other reasons to stay local and support the local economy, with independent traders being a key part of this.
John Cable, executive director of the Wellingborough Business Improvement District (BID), said: “We’re hugely proud of the independent shops that line the streets of our great town centre.
“It’s because of the fantastic variety and excellent customer service our local business owners provide that, here at the BID, we do all we can to remind people about all of the businesses we have right on our doorstep.
“There’s more to Wellingborough than meets the eye – and that’s why we encourage as many shoppers as possible to come and visit the town centre so they can see for themselves the huge range of quirky and unique goods on sale.
“Not to mention the major advantage of free parking we have in the town centre as well.”
Brooklyn Pizza opened in Wellingborough’s High Street earlier this year to serve the New York style pizza which has already proved popular with diners at its first restaurant in Northampton.
A spokesman for Brooklyn Pizza said: “We identified that consumers are getting a bit bored and fed up of chain restaurants - you get mediocre food and mediocre service.
“There is no life or soul to these places and they lack a personal touch.
“We also saw that Wellingborough lacks independent food places, so we wanted to expand and offer what we do in Northampton to Wellingborough.
“We had received quite a lot of messages from people on the Kettering and Wellingborough side of the county who really wanted to come to Northampton, but because it wasn’t close, they couldn’t as often as they would like to.
“We are hoping that more independents open up in Wellingborough and give people an alternative to the chains, and for people to try some great food of course.
“Wellingborough has been going well - the last Wednesday of each month we have an all you can eat which gives people the opportunity to try our huge array of pizzas.
“We also deliver via JustEat which we have found to be popular.”
The team at Brooklyn Pizza recently challenged themselves to see how big a pizza they could make - and with 2kg of dough, they ended up with a 3ft pizza.
To see the video, search for Brooklyn Pizza - Wellingborough on Facebook.
Another independent trader in Wellingborough’s High Street is Irvin’s House of Flavour, which is committed to providing customers with premium quality tea and coffee from around the world.
Caroline from Irvin’s House of Flavour said: “We do all of our own product sourcing and we are truly passionate about the work we do.
“We opened way back in 2003, blossoming due to customer support and recommendations.
“Our high standard of customer service is a natural part of who we are and due to our respect for you.
“Our wish is for you to be inspired by Irvin’s, a family-run business, take a journey around the world in our vibrant emporium.
“You don’t have to travel to London to get remarkable tea and coffee, it’s on your doorstep.”
Neil Pengelly, who runs The Pixie Gallery in Wellingborough’s Market Street, is another independent trader who is passionate about providing the best for his customers.
Neil said: “Since opening in 2016 on Market Street, my business has gone from strength to strength.
“I firmly believe people still prefer to visit smaller shopping outlets as they receive a more personal service.
“Small business owners, such as myself, care more about their customers and want to deliver a first-class product or service, which is why my customers keep coming back.”