Jewel of the Nene – discover Wellingborough’s hidden gems

Gemma Bailes with the Jewel of the Nene
Gemma Bailes with the Jewel of the Nene

A trader has baked a giant gem to promote a campaign to shop in Wellingborough, prompting shoppers to go and find their own undiscovered retail jewels in the town.

The large cake covered with white icing is the work of Gemma Bailes, owner of SweetBitz, which is based in the town’s Cambridge Street.

Miss Bailes decided to get creative after joining a month-long ‘shop local’ initiative called Hidden Gems.

Wellingborough’s Business Improvement District (BID) – a scheme bringing together retailers to encourage town centre trade – has launched the promotion involving 24 shops offering special deals until March 16.

Miss Bailes, whose shop specialises in cakes, weddings and sugar craft, said: “I baked this ‘Jewel of the Nene’ cake because there are plenty of gems on offer in Wellingborough – if you are prepared to go out and look.

“We have had a great response to the campaign so far.”

John Cable, Wellingborough BID manager, said: “Gemma’s giant gem demonstrates the sparkle which our retailers like SweetBitz have.

“With free parking, independent shops, plenty of green spaces and an abundance of history, Wellingborough is a great town with a high street we need to support.”

A Hidden Gems map has been produced to help guide shoppers to the traders, which have been chosen or nominated as unique businesses.

Each week a prize of £150 to spend in Hidden Gem shops is up for grabs to successful ‘Gem Hunters’.

The free competition simply involves filling in a card at a participating shop, with names being drawn out of a hat.

Shopper Valerie Stremes, 69, from the town’s Cedar Way, said: “I like to shop in Wellingborough and shop here a couple of times a week.

“I am supporting the Hidden Gems campaign.”

The scheme is under the banner of the BID’s ‘Discover Wellingborough’ brand, which provides an online retail directory at