Loss for Wellingborough as independent shop says it is closing down

Hornett Wholefoods in Midland Road, Wellingborough
Hornett Wholefoods in Midland Road, Wellingborough

An independent trader is calling it a day after seeing her healthy and wholesome products appearing on more and more shelves elsewhere.

Emma Hornett launched Hornett Wholefoods in Midland Road, Wellingborough, in January 2015 with hundreds of vegan and vegetarian products on offer.

But after two-and-a-half years, she has decided to close the shop as she says they can’t compete with the supermarkets now selling the same products as them and often at cheaper prices.

Emma said: “The first weekend of Rushden Lakes opening was one of our worst Saturdays ever.

“I do think Rushden Lakes has had an impact locally - not on us necessarily, but we took a lot less than we should have done that weekend.

“But the biggest difference for us has been the supermarkets offering what this shop has to offer.

“We used to offer products like superfood powders exclusively, but not anymore.”

With many supermarkets now having entire aisles dedicated to the ‘free from’ ranges, Emma said: “It’s great that there’s an improved range for dietary requirements.

“As a consumer, that’s brilliant, but as a shopkeeper it puts knives in my heart every single time.”

With online shopping also affecting trade, Emma felt they couldn’t compete despite being the only independent wholefood shop in the area.

The decision wasn’t an easy one, especially with regular customers saying they are really sad to see it closing and they also made last week the shop’s busiest week to date as the closing down sale got under way.

But Emma, who moved to Wellingborough from Milton Keynes nearly 15 years ago, has no regrets.

She said: “We moved here because we liked the area, house prices were good and we liked the town centres.

“Wellingborough and Rushden had lots of independent businesses, and Wellingborough and Kettering had a really good mix of independent shops and mainstream shops - we thought these are thriving places.

“But over the past five years, Wellingborough is becoming a ghost town.

“But I don’t regret opening the shop because after everything else, I have found the world’s best chocolate, met the best people and it’s been an experience to tick off the bucket list.”

After working in customer services and retail all her life, Emma will miss the customers but she added: “I am not sad that we have done it, just sad that we are closing for the people that do rely on us for certain things.

“But I can’t stay open for a small minority of people because it doesn’t pay the bills.”

The shop’s last day of trading has not been finalised yet, but there is 10 per cent off everything in-store as Emma tries to sell the remainder of the stock.