Find out why the comfort of home means everything to a little shop in the heart of a fine city, The Garnet Stores, and why they love to merchandise simple items of homeware that they know will endure.
RETAILERS, RESTAURANTS, RETREATS
RETAILER . THE GARNET STORES. NORWICH. UK
Can you tell us about The Garnet Stores and how it came to be?
We swapped pub life and began selling local produce and crafts from fellow businesses in 2020 when the pandemic hit, we had to re-think everything and quickly. We set up a little website and a presence in the front of the pub and changed seating for shelves. The shop that had originally been trading next to the pub sadly closed its doors for good during that time and laid empty for a year.... thanks to the support of our community and customers it seemed worth seeing if we could take it on as a lifestyle shop for a post-pandemic city and The Garnet Pub said hello to The Garnet Stores.
Why does the team love working with homewares?
The Pandemic was not an easy time. And the comfort of home meant a lot to a lot of people. We feel very inspired by how a simple item of homeware can create a feeling of stability and we try very hard to choose stock which has a practical purpose and can endure. Nothing should be too precious in your home that you can't enjoy it every day... and housework doesn't always need to feel like a chore. We have a huge range of beautiful cleaning items and brushes which we've chosen with that in mind. Your home should be a place of sanctuary and it should nurture you... it shouldn't feel like something else you have to keep sorting out!
You stock many of our products within the store. What’s your favourite product and what do you use it for?
Personally, I'm a huge fan of the 3 pint jugs. I love the fact they're as wonderful as a water jug on your table for a Sunday roast, as they are for a garden party, or as they are to hold bunches of fresh or dried flowers throughout the year. We're going to be stocking more in different colours this year as we all just love them.
What does 2023 hold for the shop?
We had a team meeting this morning actually and have had an opportunity to reflect on what the year ahead could look like. In truth there's been a bit of fire-fighting along the way to get to this point as we, like many businesses, have had to endure quite a bit of uncertainty during these times. But this year we are very much looking forward to putting everything we've learnt into practice. We want to plan for the seasons more with our stock, host more events and workshops and build on our website. It's brilliant to be thinking positively.
The Garnet Pub is situated next door where you host lots of community events and conversations- what does 2023 hold for the pub?
The Garnet Pub has endured two world wars, two plagues and goodness knows how many boozy nights! It's such an incredibly wise and historical building and it's a massive privilege to be the custodians of such a legacy. It's important for us that our community knows that this is a pub for them. We sit side by side with Norwich Market and source as much as we can locally for our drinks. We really want it to be a space that brings people together and we will absolutely be hosting more conversations and events over the next year which encourage this including our bi-monthly Wine Club, historical evenings and pop-up kitchens.
Are there any other local companies you'd like to shoutabout? Where do you usually eat, drink, and source ingredients in your local area?
We would like to shout about Norfolk Natural Living who we stock and whose remarkable scents and cleaning products have kept us sane over the last few years. Yarmouth Oilskins for their excellent outerwear and to all of neighbours on Norwich Market. Kate Elgood (Oysters and Ink) who sells us her beautifully hand painted oyster shells (which she sources from the City Fish stall in front of the stores) and local artist Alice Lee (aka Parallel Point) whose geometric bird illustrations always bring us peace. Also Staithe Smokehouse who have created the most remarkable smoked sea salt you could ever hope to taste and the ultimate ingredient for any food!
Photography: Sam Harrons of Compendia
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