Friday, June 03, 2011

Flying the Flag for Independent Shopkeepers.

In case you missed it Graeme Hetherington of the Northern Echo recently visited a cluster of Saltburn entrepreneurs based in Milton Street who are flying the flag for independent shopkeepers despite the high street recession.

The following is the content of his article:

Real Meals Delicatessen believes it is surviving the recession by maintaining its delivery of niche and highquality foods. The family business, which has been running for 13 years, recently moved into new premises in Saltburn’s Milton Street and trading has been brisk since then.
Sheila Beswick, who runs the business with her husband, Tim, son Dan and daughter Lorna Jackson, believes the location of the shop has delivered results.
She said, Things have been very hard, but because we are a niche business we have been able to survive better than some others. A lot of our stuff comes from artisan producers. We have at least 17 different cheeses from within a 50-mile radius of Saltburn. We also keep an extensive range of specialist meats. My son, Dan, creates fresh meals for our customers and we focus on using the best products for everything. The bacon we use is dry cured at a farm in Thirsk and the smoked bacon is made using proper smoke, which gives it a wonderful taste. Having so many independent traders in the same area is really good for business because people will move from one shop to the next and know they are buying quality goods."

The shelves in the store are packed with quality oils, sauces, herbs and spices, including tastes from North Africa, the Caribbean and Asia.

Mrs Beswick said, 2We do have a few part-time staff, but essentially we are a family business and that has been the key to our success."

• Real Meals Delicatessen: 01287 622266 or

Specialist sweet shops are few and far between these days, but anyone with a hankering for classic flavours is in for a treat in Saltburn.

Stepping through the doors of Lloyd Scott and Beatty Confectionery is like stepping back in time. The shelves are stacked with old favourites such as Everton mints, lemon drops and peppermints, and it is the feeling of entering a bygone era which adds to its charm.

Natalie Crawford, who has worked in the shop since it opened last November, is looking forward to a busy spring and summer period.
"We opened at a really good time, just before Christmas, so business was really good,” she said. “Since then, it has quietened down, but we are looking forward to the start of the holiday season. Times have been hard, but the number of good businesses around here has definitely been a bonus for us because of the passing trade."

Small independent businesses create the heart of Saltburn and Milton Street is pivotal to the success of the town.
Ms Crawford said, "We have had a lot of support from the local community, which has been really important during the hard times, just to keep us going. However, we are really looking forward to the holiday period because that is when we will get very busy. As well as the specialist sweets, we are offering options for children who just want to spend 20 pence. We will also be selling specialist ice cream, which always proves to be a success in the summer season."

• Lloyd Scott and Beatty Confectionery:

Local artists are taking full advantage of a gallery which focuses on talent in east Cleveland. The ArtsBank has created a focal point for people to check out the latest work of several local painters, photographers, sculptors and designers. Situated in the heart of Saltburn, the business has proved a great attraction to art lovers from across the region.

"The thing about businesses in Milton Street is the sense of community," said Michael York, who helps to run the gallery. "At the ArtsBank, we try to support all the businesses in the area. We regularly put up posters advertising a wide range of events in the town. One of things that is always good for all of the businesses is being able to send our customers to any of the independent shops in the area.”

Since the ArtsBank opened last year, artists have been able to get their work exhibited to a much wider audience. Mr York said: "We have customers who travel from all over the region to visit the gallery, so we regularly change the exhibitions to ensure that everything is always fresh. All the people who exhibit in the gallery are based within 60 miles of Saltburn and that is key to the success."

The gallery is currently playing host to a new exhibition of the work of Emily Hesse, a sculptor who works with driftwood, creating unique abstract and figurative sculptures.

• ArtsBank 01287-625300 or

Graeme Hetherington's full article is available to read here.

No comments: