Think you know Ryde? Think again.

This town on the beach has amazing independent shops, a thriving arts scene (when we’re not in lockdown) and a community spirit that makes it a vibrant and fun place to be. Many of the shopkeepers are working hard for you – open for business or offering deliveries and click & collect. Please support them, we need each other!

Think you know Ryde? Think again.

This town on the beach has amazing independent shops, a thriving arts scene (when we’re not in lockdown) and a community spirit that makes it a vibrant and fun place to be. All of the shopkeepers are working hard for you – while some are open for business as usual, many more are offering deliveries and click & collect. Others are planning how they will reopen, when it’s safe to do so. They are all looking forward to welcoming you in person, as soon as possible. So please support them, as we need each other!

Meet Ryde’s shopkeepers – they’re looking forward to welcoming you, as soon as they can.

Person holding a tray of donuts

Sarah says:

“I never thought I’d join the family business but here I am! Obviously we have arguments and we can get fed up with each other but we know that we have everyone’s best interests at heart. My dad loves being able to see his kids and grandkids every day. We try not to take our work home with us, but even over Christmas dinner, we’ll talk about work! It’s something we all get excited about, but we do try to talk about other things too, so it doesn’t feel like we’re at work 24/7.

“As with most people working in small businesses, I end up doing a bit of everything – except for baking, I’m really bad at that! But we put all of our strengths together, and there are quite a few Redrups working here: my twin sister Jodie and her husband, Jacob; my brothers David and Daniel; my uncles Derek and Mark; and my cousin Kirsty.

“We often try to introduce new things – like Isle of Wight donuts, cupcakes for charities or events, or delivering bags of cakes with gift notes for special Zoom calls. This Christmas, we’ll be doing more gifts and pre-made hampers for delivery. But, whatever we come up with the Belgian Buns always remain one of our top sellers, they’re a local favourite!

“We made the decision to stay open throughout lockdown as we felt we had an obligation to our community to help people access essential items like flour and bread. Before lockdown we were already supplying the hospital café at St Mary’s, and then they asked us to cater for the staff and patients too. We were suddenly we were getting 800-900 sandwich orders a day! Our regular customers in the shops asked if we could deliver bread and cakes to them, so we took on the challenge. We re-organised our business so we could offer a free, island-wide next day delivery service. My brother Daniel was the real genius behind it; he created a whole online shop from scratch in just one week. It ended up crashing in the first hour, as so many people were on it! At one point we were delivering to 250 homes in one day. It was stressful but rewarding and I was so impressed by the resourcefulness of our staff, as without their ideas and enthusiasm it wouldn’t have happened.

“All our Island suppliers were fantastic, and they kept us going, including the Island Jam Company, Betapak, Medina Foods, Briddlesford Farm and Island Roasted. There was just one mainland supplier who stopped operating, giving us half an hour’s notice!

“I like to shop locally because I feel like the shopkeepers always put in the effort to give a personalised service, they really value their customers. We try to do that too. For example, we once iced ‘Happy Birthday Larry’ on an apple donut, even though it isn’t something that we would usually do, because we thought it was so nice that someone wanted to give it as a present!

“We have regular customers and know lots of them by name. Some of them like to have long chats on the phone and it’s really nice getting to know them. During lockdown, my boyfriend came to help, who’s an osteopath. He ended up giving someone advice on a hip replacement when she called up to order bread! She still calls up and asks ‘how’s Jack doing, we miss him!’

“When you shop locally, the money stays on the Island – and when you buy from us, you’re also supporting a lot of other local producers. This winter many small businesses will be making a last ditch attempt to get back on their feet after a disastrous year, so if you don’t want empty shops on your high street, then support your local shops!”

Popular in Grace’s right now…

  • Sausage rolls
  • Belgian buns
  • Jam donuts
  • Multi-seed loaves

A few suppliers…

Island Roasted/Wight Label Tea – we buy all our tea, coffee and coffee machines from them. They’re another family business, so understand how we work, and they’re so dynamic and care passionately about their products. If we have a problem, they’ll solve it very quickly.

The Island Jam Company – Paul and the team got in the kitchen and made us batches of jam last minute for our Cream Tea Boxes during the summer. We always get really good feedback, particularly on their Hedgerow Jam.

Briddlesford Farm – we use their milk in all our shops, and we stock their dairy products on our website. A fantastic family business and one of our customers too!

Wild Island – lovely dressings and Nuala is so nice to work with!

Sarah likes…

Wight Trash Skateboard Shop – it’s is one of my fave shops in Ryde! They set up my skateboard for me and got me the coolest pink wheels.

Velvet Pig – it’s a lovely vintage shop and they’re so nice. They message me when they get anything in a daisy print, as they know I’ll love it.

Wonky Goat – very friendly and nice food.

Essence – they do bath stuff that smells amazing and I love the smell of coconut when you walk past.

Contact

There are Grace’s bakeries in Ryde, Shanklin, Yarmouth, Cowes and two in Newport.

Find out more: https://gracesbakery.uk

person in an art studio

Jenna says:

“When we first came to look around, all the locals followed us! Most of them thought we were mad, as it was a derelict mess, but it was perfect for us. It took us 9 weeks to renovate it and we used lots of reclaimed materials including my parents’ old roof to make the counter in the café! We’ve now been open for 15 months – unfortunately we missed our first anniversary as it was during lockdown.

“We see part of our role as arts education and have a children’s gallery. We work with all the Ryde schools as well as pre-schools, the college and Portsmouth University.

“We also see our role as bringing the community together. With Covid, it seems like the whole world is becoming more isolated and communities are more disjointed. We can offer an alternative to that – you can come to the café, talk to people, do an arts course or join a group to learn skills like silk painting and life drawing.

“We have three artists in residence – Sandy Kendall, Mandy Bangerter and Karl Stedman – and you can go and see them in their studios upstairs. Plus we have regular live music events, spoken word and themed nights.

“Our art exhibitions change every two weeks – we are booked up a year in advance but we try to fit in exhibiting community projects too, such as the ‘Familiar Faces’ exhibition with around 75 portraits of the local characters around here.

“It’s an amazing community here, full of artistic and interesting people who have lived exciting and full lives all over the world. For example there’s a costume designer who designed Freddie Mercury’s yellow jacket, another who was a Hollywood actress, a model, an expert on Chinese pottery, a Japanese chef for famous people, and even the Queen’s gardener! We started doing events called ‘Mash Up The Arts’ inviting the locals to talk about their lives. It’s all about helping the community to connect, so if people see each other in the street, they have something to talk about.

“We also have conversations with our visitors, to get to know them individually, and we’re always introducing people to each other. Some people are shocked when we talk to them – we’re not very servant like! But to us it seems very human, why wouldn’t you want to chat about things? Plus if we’re having a laugh, it puts people at ease, and we want to create the feeling that you’ve just wandered into someone’s lounge.

“We believe in supporting local artists and shopping locally – the artwork you’ll find here is unique and you just couldn’t find it online. We only stock Island artists. Places like ours, and the independent shops in Ryde, give an area its identity. Everyone wants to live in nice creative places, but for that to happen, you do need to support your local artists and shops!”

“We  feel so lucky that we’ve ended up in this area, where so much is happening – because what we’re doing wouldn’t work without all these amazing characters and creative people around us.”

Try something new

Jenna’s eight year old daughter, Daisy Willow, makes chocolates for the Lounge Café. Jenna says: “A local lady is teaching her how to make artisan chocolates. Each week, she learns how to make a different flavour. When she’s older she wants to own her own chocolate factory!”

Recent varieties have included white chocolate and raspberry; truffles; and biscoff (from 65p each).

Jenna and Dawn like…

  • Lavazza coffee from Island Food Service – we use their coffee and cups and their service is great!
  • BouChic in Ryde – you can always find lots of nice things for gift shopping in there.
  • Land of Roses in Ryde – my son loves roses and they sell all kinds of things here, like rose essential oil, rose jam, rose soap and they’re very knowledgeable.
  • The Little Red Bus in Shanklin’s Old Village – for handmade items made by artists and craftsmen on the Island as well as a cheery welcome
  • Blue Labelle in Ventnor – for natural aromatherapy skincare products
  • Pickle & Dill – the new deli on Union Street Ryde
  • The Velvet Pig – also on Ryde’s Union street, for wonderful vintage clothes and accessories, and they are just the best couple who run it.

Local artists to discover…

  • Nick Martin – his amazing hand painted collage, depicting Ryde Union Street, can be seen at Monkton Arts from 1 November.
  • Chad Powell – his Milky Way pictures are beautiful
  • Gianpaolo Mario Photography– his photography, inspired by the sea, is gorgeous.

Contact

https://www.facebook.com/monktonarts/

shopkeeper waving

Vanessa is an aromatherapy innovator who makes all the lotions and potions herself at the shop. “I’m always trying out new things”, she says. “And you can tell when I’m seriously thinking about a new idea, as I wear my slippers!”

She is a former beauty therapist for big names including Clarins. Sixteen years ago, she spotted a gap in the market for her fun loving brand. She says: “I found that the high quality products were a bit boring, and the fun products were low quality. So I finally decided to make my own range that was fun and high quality!”

Her products turn bath-time into a sensory experience with bright colours, sparkles and little surprises like the tiny gingerbread men on top of her Gingerbread Scrub. She loves showing customers her products which all smell divine and change with the seasons – right now, the cauldron bubble and midwinter scents are flying off the shelves.

Everything is made with skin loving ingredients that have therapeutic qualities, such as poppyseeds, which are a gentle exfoliator, and pink Himalayan salt which softens the bath water. A current favourite is Sea Buckthorn, a plant which is traditionally used as an anti-ageing remedy. “It feels amazing on the skin and it’s a beautiful orange colour”, says Vanessa. All the products are ethically made. “I’m vegan and all my products are vegan, cruelty free and as eco as possible”, she says.

You can find sugar scrubs in scrumptious aromas, and Harry Potter inspired whipped and glittering bath butters, such as the Butterscotch Beer which is a shampoo, cleanser and shaving foam, all rolled into one. The galaxy collection is popular and features products like Aquagalatic Fizzy Moon Dust and Blue Moon Bath Potion. There are also treats inspired by tarot cards such as The Lovers Bath Soak Crystals, and a Magician range with sparkling bubbly bath melts. The Self Love gift set contains bath salts – and a spell jar. “Some people say you’re a bit witchcrafty”, laughs Vanessa. “I say that’s cool!”

Every time you go in, you can look forward to seeing – and smelling – something new.
“I’m always expanding the range”, she says. “I spent lockdown making new products, getting them tested, and expanding my store. There used to be a hairdresser’s at the front, and I was at the back, but now I’ve taken over the whole front shop. People say, oh you’re new around here? And I say, er… no… I’ve been here 16 years! I love it here. This is what I’ve always wanted to do.”

Vanessa likes…

  • Coffee Nut of Ryde – it’s next door to me and they do the best vegan cakes!
  • Craft Vegan Pizza – they used to be next door too, and I’d go outside, smell the pizza over the fence, and have to order one! I love their garlic bread too.
  • Ryde Pier Café – I’ve had their vegan hot dogs a few times!

Contact

Essence, 6 Union Street, Ryde, PO33 2DU.
Tel: 01983 611168

https://www.facebook.com/essenceaccessoriesiow/

Shopkeepers waving

Anthony tells us all about their journey…

“We’re all passionate about Spanish food and wanted to share our discoveries with Islanders by importing foods from Spain and Italy, including bags of paella rice, vegan friendly wines and cheeses that are hard to find.

“We also sell as much Island produce as we can and we’re proud to be Gold members of Wight Marque, which shows that we are committed to supporting our local farmers and producers. This includes fruit and veg, ChocAlicious chocolate, Cantina bread and unusual treats like Wight Salt’s Piccalilli, which for £6 is the nicest piccalilli you’ve ever tasted.

“We offer sharing platters of cheese and charcuterie, which are available for takeaway. There are lots of vegetarian and vegan products, including vegan cheese like ‘shamembert’, which is handmade in small batches in London. It’s great warmed up in the oven, dipped into with sourdough foccacia, and washed down with a vegan wine!

“We opened in mid October and we’ve been so well received already – it’s great to be here. One of the only good things to come of the pandemic is the community spirit, and we can really feel that here. For example someone’s just dropped off some green tomatoes for us, so that we can make chutney.

“We think it’s important to shop locally when you can. Shopping locally is great for the town and the tourists love all the independent shops here. Also since Covid, there’s a bit of a revolution in the way that people source their food – knowing where it’s from has become more important than ever, as people want to know that they can buy what they need locally, as we go into lockdown again.

“People used to take their local shops for granted but we’ve seen what happens if you don’t support them, as so many shops are disappearing. Also it might be easy to order something online but you don’t get the same experience. What we’ve found is that people love interacting with us and we love talking about our products too. Shopkeepers like us have a passion for what we’re selling – you don’t get that with a website.”

Hottest products…

• New York Deli sandwiches with pastrami, pickle and swiss cheese.
• Mezze box with homemade hummus, falafel and baba ganoush
• Pasteis de Nata (Portuguese custard tarts) – we sold 150 in the first few days!
• Homemade cakes such as Mum’s orange and polenta loaf.
• Fresh Bembridge crab.

The family like…

Itchy Raccoon – a couple who are furniture makers based in Newport and made all the beautiful shelves for the deli.
Hazelgrove Eggs – run by a lovely local family.
DJ Hunt Fruit and Vegetable Wholesalers – Lee supplies us with brilliant local fruit and veg.
Cantina in Ventnor – we sell their incredible sourdough bread.
Wild Island – we love their delicious dressings and they’re a favourite with our customers.

Contact

Pickle & Dill, 51 Union Street, Ryde.
Tel: 01983 811694
https://www.facebook.com/pickleanddilldelicatessen/

While you’re here…

Quarr Abbey

Explore more

Swing by Quarr Abbey after your visit to Ryde, to feed the pigs and see the beautiful 20th century monastery. Their tea room is open for takeaways. It’s Wight Marque accredited as it sells lots of lovely and local treats…

Appley Ryde

Hit the beach

Whatever the weather, it’s a wonderful walk along Ryde seafront up to Appley to see the historic Tower. Head onto Seaview if you’re feeling energetic.

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Find out what’s hot in the independent shops – and win cool stuff in our competitions…

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