Quirky Kettering boutique set to mark birthday with 'jungle boogie' party - and everyone is welcome
The Bean Hive moved into the High Street three years ago
A Kettering High Street business that has bounced back after the Covid pandemic is celebrating its third birthday and on Saturday will unveil a stripy surprise addition to the colourful boutique.
Battling the double whammy of online retailers and multiple lockdowns, Davina Parkhouse and her team are inviting customers old and new to share the shop's celebrations.
To give shoppers something to smile about and to encourage residents back into the heart of Kettering's retail area, cake, fizz and games will be on offer.
Adding a new dimension to the eclectic pink gift shop's already Instagrammable exterior will be a model of a zebra bursting out of the side of the shop wall, yet to be unveiled.
Owner Davina said: "Our celebration is a massive 'thank you' to all of our wonderful staff, traders and customers.
"Recent visitors to the shop will have noticed some colourful additions to the exterior of the shop by local artist Cathy Matthews. The artwork includes our angel wings and mini wings perfect for an Instagram pose and jungle inspired murals.
"The pièce de résistance ‘Deborah the Zebra’ will be jumping out of the wall in time for the celebrations."
The Bean Hive was a recent winner in the best gift shop category of the Northamptonshire Muddy Stilettos Awards and has also been named as a finalist in the forthcoming Kettering Business Awards and both of the prestigious national awards competitions the Greats and the Retas.
Davina said: "The retail sector was already suffering as shopping preferences moved online or out of town. The pandemic bought us all to our knees and, like many others, we have questioned whether we could even keep going as a business.
"As well as the uncertainty of lockdowns, retailers have had to continuously contend with supply issues, increased costs due to Covid, worldwide shipping delays and eyewatering customs charges and confusion thanks to Brexit.
"The government grants, whilst welcome, did little more than pay for the shop to be shut. The restart grants however, were so insignificant that it is not surprising that many feel like they can no longer continue. It is so sad to see well established local independent shops like Mary and Me close as the cost of restocking is just too much.
"As well as the many problems, the lockdowns also gave us opportunities to improve the business that we would otherwise have struggled to do. We opened our website www.the-bean-hive.co.uk during the first lockdown and our second shop in Falmouth a year ago.
"We also took the opportunity of the shops being closed to refit and redecorate it. After the 18 months we have all had, we thought we would brighten up the town and give everyone something to smile about."
Davina added: "Despite the challenges, we are once again thriving thanks to our loyal customers and amazing traders. Financially it has been like starting again but with a much improved shop, better stock, a website and fabulous new artwork. The footfall and sales this summer have been amazing and we are once again hopeful for the future."
The Bean Hive celebrations begin on Saturday, September 4 from 10am for cake and drinks. Customers can spin the 'Wheel of Fortune' to win prizes.