We found that the Independent businesses of Newport distinguished themselves by providing a personalised service. Mr Leigh Mansell of “The Old Clock Shop” shared a story of a gentleman that had approached him, requesting a unique customisation of an antique clock. The clock was hand customised to chime 22 times in commemoration of the 22 chartist protesters killed in Newport in “The Newport Rising” of 1839. Such an event of national significance showed how history and identity are valued by many, and Newport traders are able to reflect this.
Another local trader we interviewed illustrated how shopping locally rewards shoppers with unique gifts, providing a personal touch whilst helping the community in a very hands on way. “The Woodstore”, also within Newport Market, offers a range of unique handcrafted gifts; ranging from small decorative crafts to large items of furniture. The Woodstore was voluntarily staffed by Mrs Kath Pugh. Mrs Pugh, while being interviewed, shared that The Woodstore was stocked by the Newport based ‘not for profit organisation’ “Reseiclo”. Reseiclo is a sustainable wood recycling service, which employs a number of wood workers from the Brynglas Adult Education Centre. Mrs Pugh explained that the word work skills used were also taught through Reseiclo – offering those with learning difficulties or those simply requiring experience a place to learn, socialise and gain a trade.
The last trader interviewed Mr Lee Smith of the family run “The Market Bakery” offering sights not offered by many chain or supermarket bakeries: preparation of food, baking and decoration of sweet treats in view of customers! Alongside Mr Smith, help from a family friend’s daughter: Shelley, aged 16. Shelley, had baked and decorated a tray of cupcakes for customers of Shop Local Saturday, and kindly offered to us.
Of course we didn’t want to miss the opportunity to show what shopping local can offer! A £10 challenge was handed to us. I can confirm that a unique and locally crafted item costing £10 was bought - look out for further information on this item.