Think you know Newport? Think again.
Look around our county town, and you’ll find all kinds of amazing independent shops. Please support them if you can, as they’re doing their best to support you throughout the pandemic. The shops that aren’t allowed to open right now are working behind the scenes, planning for their reopening. In the meantime, many businesses are offering click & collect, deliveries and takeaways. Maybe take a break from your essential shopping by grabbing a take-out coffee. How about a cappuccino from Caffe Isola, made with Island Roasted coffee and creamy milk from down the road… or a peanut butter vegan latte from Peach.
St James Street…
This is the health and fitness capital of the Island, with a forward-thinking eco vibe. You can find state of the art ‘vegan’ running shoes, healthfoods, an environmentally friendly hairdresser, ethically made treats and great coffee.
Holyrood Street + Watchbell Lane…
You’ll find cafes with secret gardens, the smallest pub on the Island, boutique fashion stores, locally made gifts, bridal essentials, goodies for pampered pets…. and the biggest Hurst’s on the Isle of Wight!
Think you know Newport? Think again.
Look around our county town, and you’ll find all kinds of amazing independent shops. Have a browse – and don’t forget to stop for a coffee break! How about a cappuccino from Caffe Isola, made with Island Roasted coffee and creamy milk from down the road… or a peanut butter vegan latte from Peach.
Start at St James Street…
This is the health and fitness capital of the Island, with a forward-thinking eco vibe. Come here for state of the art ‘vegan’ running shoes, healthfoods, an environmentally friendly hairdresser, ethically made treats and great coffee.
Then move onto Holyrood Street + Watchbell Lane…
Head here for cafes with secret gardens, the smallest pub on the Island, boutique fashion stores, locally made gifts, bridal essentials, goodies for pampered pets…. and the biggest Hurst’s on the Isle of Wight!
Say hello to your high street
Meet Newport’s shop keepers – they’re looking forward to welcoming you, as soon as they’re allowed to open their doors…
'As soon as I can, I’ll stay open just for you!'
Julie Jones-Evans is the co-owner of Dragonfly, which sells lovely things to enhance your wellbeing including crystals, incense, aromatherapy oils and jewellery. You can also book Tarot card readings and relaxing therapies such as Indian Head Massage.. Read more...
My family have been running businesses in Newport since the 18th century – they say it’s in the blood! I was pretty much bought up in this shop, which my Mum opened in 1979.
When you shop locally, you get great choice, expertise, customer service and people will go that extra mile for you. If you can’t get here by closing time, then I’ll always stay open if I can. I’ll also stay open if you want to choose Christmas presents without anyone else around. Try asking the big businesses to do the same for you!
We’ve recently had people coming in asking for lucky crystals for job interviews. We’ve got a huge range and they’ve all got slightly different properties. For example citrine is said to bring abundance – and although you can get a lovely big piece for £95, you can also get a small piece for £2.50, and size isn’t everything when it comes to crystals! We give advice then invite people to use their intuition to choose the pieces that they want.
When you come in here, you can touch, feel and see what we’ve got. You can only tell if it’s something you really want when you pick it up, smell it, or try it on – it’s a sensory experience, which shopping should be, as we’re sensory beings.
We can give lots of specialist advice. So I might say ‘before you go, try this oil to enhance your confidence, and here’s a great book that could help you find success’.
Also because we’re a small business, we can adapt to trends very quickly – if someone wants something new, like the latest oracle card deck or a rare essential oil, we can get it in next week. Chain stores plan months ahead and don’t have that flexibility.
Independent shops give texture, excitement and variety to an area and we’re really linked into our community. When people visit Newport they say they love our small shops – their high streets have become homogenised, and they don’t have the lovely range of small shops that we do here on the Island.”
· Incense –Nag Champa, a traditional Indian blend, transports you to another continent.
· Crystals – Amethyst is popular as it’s believed to reduce worry and aids relaxation.
· Silver jewellery – particularly crystal nose studs.
TRY SOMETHING NEW:
“How about a crystal face roller? They’re widely used in China, where face rolling is an ancient technique used to promote glowing skin. Lots of celebrities swear by it and Meghan Markle is said to be a fan. You roll the big end over your cheeks and forehead and the little end around the delicate eye area. Come into the shop and I can show you how they work.
Crystals have healing properties and the jade roller is said to bring health, wealth and prosperity – it’s the ‘stone of heaven’ in Traditional Chinese Medicine. The rose crystal roller is all about self care and it’s very nurturing.
You can use the rollers with oils to improve the skin tone and they feel really soothing and cooling (particularly if you keep them in the fridge). It’s very relaxing to roll one over your face in the evening, brushing the stress of the day away!”
· Crystal face rollers cost £25
JULIE’S FAVE LOCAL SPOTS:
· The secret gardens around Newport – including the garden at the back of One Holyrood. This town is full of surprises!
· Board – we had our Christmas do there and it was great fun having a meal and a couple of drinks and playing board games!
· Peach – for their chickpea pasties and salads.
· Easy Weigh – for all kinds of spices, homebrew essentials and Sosmix (vegan sausage mix)!
· Farmhouse Fayre – for Island produce and great fruit and veg, including unusual ingredients for my curries, like fresh turmeric root.
· Newport Ale House – it’s my ‘go to’ escape place for real ales and a lovely atmosphere. It’s IW Camra Pub of the Year and the smallest pub on the Island.
· Quay Arts Centre – for culture and drinks by the waterside.
· Bijou Hairdressing and Take 2 Hair and Beauty Salon for a pamper.
Dragonfly, 80 St James St, Newport PO30 1LG
Tel: 01983 523278
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'Most customers are new to running'
Jo and Simon Randall own Love Running in Newport. It’s the Isle of Wight’s only shop for “all things running” and they’ve been serving runners from beginners to marathon winners for nearly 10 years. Between them, they’ve been running for over 45 years. Read more...
Love Running is an ethical business and winner of a Green Impact award for their environmental practices. All their products are vegan (ie no suede, leather, wool or silk). They use paper bags, recycled packaging and re-use coat hangers – even the cleaning products aren’t tested on animals.
LISTEN TO JO’S INTERVIEW WITH ISLE OF WIGHT RADIO HERE!
“We want people to come back, so we aim to give everyone a good experience, with old fashioned customer service. We’re currently offering booked appointments so that we can offer individual attention in a safe environment.
After lockdown ended, we weren’t sure how things would work out, but once we started the appointment diary, people started booking in straight away, and we were booked up two weeks ahead! We now have appointments free most days. Most of the people we see now are new to running and were waiting for us to reopen. We normally rely on a lot of returning customers so that was quite unexpected!
We cater for everyone from beginners to experienced runners, and it all starts with the feet and getting the right footwear to help you avoid injuries. We can film you running on our running machine and then use gait analysis software to look at your running in slow motion. This enables us to see what shoes would suit you – for example whether you need cushioning or arch support, or if you run with your weight on one side or have any runner’s injuries. Once we know that, we can steer you to the right category of shoes. We really know our products – these running shoes are our children, we could tell you all about them! We’ve also been fitting shoes for many years, and Simon has a Diploma in Sports Physiology.
Running is a brilliant sport because it makes you feel amazing – not so much when you’re actually running but afterwards. You can go out on your own, explore, and you don’t need to go a set distance. It helps you lose weight, tones you up, and it really gets your endorphins going and makes you mentally stronger. The last time I went running in the woods, I stopped for 10 minutes to watch the red squirrels playing and it made me feel so happy!
Running can be very sociable too, if you run in an organised group, like ours. You can stay with someone who runs at the same speed and have a natter. I love coming back from a run, smiling, and that’s what it’s all about for me!
· Jo and Simon’s ‘Love Running Tuesday Nighters’ won the ‘Best Running Group in the UK’ award from RunTogether. They meet at 5:50pm every Tuesday at the St Mary’s Hospital Helipad car park, though sessions are currently on hold due to Covid. For more details visit the website: www.love-running.com
LOVE RUNNING’S TOP SELLERS
· Trainers (all kinds)
· Ronhill clothing particularly the Revive range made from recycled plastic bottles.
· All kinds of socks including padded socks that protect your arches, and Wacky Sox with designs on them including sheep, lipstick kisses and rainbows!
TRY SOMETHING NEW:
Runners Rub Skin Balm, £11.99
Try this! It’s anti-chafing, plastic free and vegan, so it’s environmentally friendly and good for the chafing that you can get from running, wet suits and being on your feet all day. Also some runners get chafing from sports bras and between their toes. It’s got a lovely woody smell and it’s made with 100% natural ingredients and essential oils.
JO’S TIPS FOR SHOPPING IN NEWPORT:
· Board – you can go in and play board games, which is lovely and really takes you back to childhood. Plus I love their vegan cakes!
· Peach – an absolutely amazing business with a zero waste ethos, which couldn’t be more relevant to the drama of the times. I particularly like their shakes and the scrumptious sausage rolls with onion chutney!
· Easy Weigh – you can do your shopping the old fashioned way, and buy the exact amount that you need. I get rice, flour and spices here by the weight and use my own bags!
Love Running, 52 St James St, Newport PO30 1LQ
Tel: 01983 718191
MARKETS ARE EVERY FRIDAY MORNING IN NEWPORT
'I'm passionate about markets!'
Claire Kennard is a former Chemistry teacher turned market trader. She runs Market Days, a community interest company that aims to re-energise the Friday markets in Newport and celebrate the town’s market heritage... Read more...
She runs Market Days, a community interest company that aims to re-energise the Friday markets in Newport and celebrate the town’s market heritage.
“I quit my job to do this! I’ve had many professions – including being a pharmacist, Chemistry teacher, entrepreneur and working for the Council – and now I’m having a whale of a time running the markets in Newport. I’m passionate about their role within the community and they’re a really fun place to shop and have a chat.
There have been markets in Newport for over 1000 years and they’ve always been an integral part of the town. There used to be a beast market in the 1950s (known for the loud animals and drunk farmers!), a butter market and a corn market. Now we have the traditional Farmers’ Market every Friday which has been running for 21 years. Everything you see is home produced, and most of it is made on the Island. We’re looking at setting up more markets across the Island too, and ultimately getting a permanent undercover site.
What I love about markets is the buzz and community feeling. Plus markets have the potential to rejuvenate the town centre. Look around at Newport market – it’s so alive! Markets like this are all about connecting the growers and produces with the community – and post Covid, it’s the right time to do this, as the open air provide a safe place to shop.
Part of my role involves nurturing microbusinesses – there’s a high number of these little businesses on the Island and you can find them at the markets. They’re very creative but someone who’s great at making bath bombs in their kitchen might not know about all the red tape involved in running a business or how to set up a merchant bank account. We’ve got the knowledge to support them. Plus we can give them somewhere to sell their products alongside large producers, such as the Garlic Farm.
We want the markets on the Island to become a destination, as they have so much to offer, with eclectic stalls and a great atmosphere. That’s why we’re asking people to ‘take a fresh look at Fridays’ and support your local markets – they’re busy and thriving and a sight to see!
• The Newport Farmers’ Market runs every Friday from 8am-2pm (weather permitting) in St Thomas’ Square.
TOP 3 BEST SELLERS AT NEWPORT MARKET
• Garlic from the Garlic Farm stall
• Mary Case’s honey
• Island shaped biscuits by Clatterford Kitchen
CLAIRE’S TIPS FOR BEING A MARKET TRADER
• Set yourself up on social media to connect with future customers.
• Don’t be shy about talking to people and telling them how you made your products.
• It’s not about shouting loudest, it’s about engaging with people.
• Make sure you’ve got the business basics covered, such as liability insurance – we can advise you on that.
DELIVERING HAMPERS - GET IN TOUCH VIA FACEBOOK
'A lot of love goes into locally made stuff'
Vicki Hunter is such a fan of Island food and crafts, that she opened a shop to showcase the best that the Isle of Wight can offer. The Little Nook opened in Newport in August. Everything that she sells is made on the Island... Read more...
“The Little Nook is all about celebrating the Isle of Wight, because we make so many wonderful things here. I was inspired during lockdown when I saw how the Isle of Wight community came together, with tiny businesses popping up and supporting each other, so I decided to find a nice central space to bring everyone together.
I sell all kinds of things including biscuits, tea, coffee, jams, honeys, dressings, cheese, jewellery and macrame. I specialise in making up hampers – there are set price hampers, such as ‘Cracking conserves’– or take your pick from the shop and I’ll make you up a bespoke hamper. You can even add in bits that aren’t from my shop, and I’ll deliver your hamper for free anywhere on the Island. I also make up gorgeous picnic baskets, packed with treats.
Buying locally is the best economy – because the money leaves your pocket, you give it to someone who lives up the road, then it goes to another local person, and the whole economy benefits from it. It helps employment, and you can’t beat the quality of locally made stuff. The food isn’t packed with preservatives, it’s freshly made, so the jams that I sell were probably made last week! A lot of love goes into locally made stuff and the majority of things here are made by hand by someone who cares about quality – machines don’t care about quality, only people do!
THE LITTLE NOOK’S BEST SELLERS:
• Isle of Wight Cheese Co.’s Isle of Wight Blue Cheese – this won Best English Cheese at the World Cheese Awards.
• ChocAlicious’ chocolate stirrers with marshmallows – great for kids and campers! This chocolate is made in Cowes and it’s really good, it deserves more recognition.
• Richmonds’ Sea Salted Caramel Sauce – so gorgeous, you could just sit and eat this by the spoonful!
VICKI’S FAVOURITE PLACES
• Board in St James Street – you can spend the evening having a couple of drinks and a laugh and playing games like Bucking Bronco!
• Market Days every Friday 8am-2pm in St Thomas’ Square – the markets are part of Newport’s rich history and helping to regenerate the town.
• First Person Shooter – did you know that we’ve got one of the biggest first person shooting clubs in the world, right here at Newport? You can navigate courses, save hostages and practice your target shooting.
The Little Nook, 12 Town Lane, Newport PO30 1JU (opposite the Town Choice Café)
Tel: 01983 302019
Time for a break
Grab a coffee
How do you like your coffee? With comics? Try Comicoffee. Or maybe decaf, iced and with oat milk, in which case you’ll be spoilt for choice. However you like your coffee, there are great places to go in Newport for that all essential take-out pick-me-up.
Get the vegan vibes
Newport is an eco-friendly town and lots of the businesses offer ethically sourced products and delicious vegan food. Whether you want a quick pasty or a full-blown meal, there’s lots to choose from. So tuck in, enjoy, and feel smug because you’re saving the planet too!
Cake glorious cake
There are so many amazing places for cake – our favourites include the old fashioned tray bake from Cornerstop Cafe, Peach’s vegan rainbow cake, the Italian polenta cakes from Caffe Isola and the beautiful bouquets of cupcakes made by the Funky Cakery…