In the first of a series as part of our Locals’ Guides, we’ll be taking a look at the great indies you’ll find on different streets in Harrogate.
We kick off with a focus on Kings Road – or, more specifically, the half of Kings Road that starts at the Skipton Road junction and ends at the Grove Road turning. This is a hive of local independent activity, with more than 20 indie businesses offering a range of services, many of which complement each other.
It’s little wonder, then, that this end of Kings Road is fast becoming a destination street – and it’s even better that there’s free parking available.
We took a wander along the parade of indies and had a chat with a few of them, picked at random. With this many indies on just one road, we have had to split this Locals’ Guide in to two parts. In ‘Part 1’ we have covered many of the clothing/gift indies, as well as places to get great food and drink. Look out for ‘Part 2’ which will inform you on independent places for hair and beauty as well as a few shops we’ve put in the category of ‘Miscellaneous’.
As always, do let us know your favourites or, indeed, if we’ve unintentionally missed anyone out.
Check out what they’re up to on Twitter @kingsroadHG1.
Clothing / gifts
Dressmaker Joana Staponiene moved to Harrogate from Lithuania 13 years ago, and initially worked from home carrying out dress alterations.
Three years ago, in recognition of the burgeoning bridal side of her business, Joana opened her boutique on Kings Road. Selling pre-made dresses which Joana can tailor to fit, as well as bespoke gowns made from scratch by Joana herself, the boutique also has a range of accessories including shoes, jewellery and handmade veils.
With the business growing every year since launching on Kings Road, Joana’s bespoke, personal and friendly service combined with her dressmaking and alterations expertise is certainly proving a big hit with brides to be.
Elegant ladies fashion combined with a personal service is on offer here – and you’ll even get a complimentary cup of tea or coffee while you browse the collections!
Owner Victoria Lane is a former manager and buyer at several Harrogate fashion stores who jumped at the chance to open her own boutique on Kings Road in 2006. Her aim was to offer a specially selected range of fashionable clothes – many exclusively sourced from Europe – for ladies aged 35 and above but with an added focus on personal service and experienced advice, as well as a fitting and alteration service.
Regular in-house fashion shows highlight new collections and on-season trends.
Specialising in hand-made jewellery, accessories and home decorations, Shine is full of lovely items that are a little bit out of the ordinary. Owners Neil Thompson and Natalie Inger make sure sure their displays make the most of their products, with much of the jewellery designed and created by Natalie herself.
We featured this great little place in a previous blog about independent gift shops in Harrogate. Read it here.
High-end and designer clothes, shoes and accessories that have already been worn but still have a lot of life left in them are sold at this boutique.
With a shop on Kings Road and another in Boroughbridge, there’s a great selection of preloved fashion items that deserve to find new love.
Food and Drink
Little Breads is a deli bar that serves sandwiches and cakes. The shop, which is managed by Karl Dixon, is known for its excellent customer service. The menu features fresh sandwiches, wraps, paninis, brownies, cakes and delicious hot drinks, with the option to either eat in or take out. Karl and his team also do outside catering for buffets, offices and venues.
Customers love the wide range of choice on offer at Little Breads, from the healthy stuff such as pesto salads to treats such as their best-selling Creme Egg Brownie, so popular that Facebook competitions are held to win them.
Formerly the much-loved Arcimboldo’s, Rafols was established in April 2015. Their product range includes exclusive fine cheeses, both locally-produced and from the continent, cold meats, flans, homemade cakes and pastries, freshly made open sandwiches, ready meals, speciality oils and preserves and Italian pasta.
We featured this indie grocery store in our blog on Christmas trees (read it here) and, after a busy festive season, they’ve got lots of seasonal fruit and veg to make sure your new year healthy eating is tasty. All their produce is as local as possible. They currently also have Seville oranges which are now in season as well as unwaxed lemons from the Amalfi Coast.
Former chef and owner of popular Harrogate restaurant Chez la Vie launched Wot’s Cookin, and it’s proved a big hit. It offers tasty, reasonably-priced ready meals which are freshly prepared in the shop using local ingredients.
Professional chef Maciej Bujakowski decided to launch his own business after working as an executive chef at the Kimberley Hotel in Harrogate.
Now in its second year, Magic Meat is all about cooking and smoking meat using traditional Eastern European methods. It’s based on the flavours of Maciej’s childhood, and offers a range of delicious ready meals, cold meats and salads.
Ramus is perhaps the best-known shop on Kings Road, having built up a great reputation for more than 40 years for its extensive selection of fresh and frozen fish and seafood.
Fresh catches arrive at its shops in Harrogate and Ilkley at 6am daily, including live lobsters. As well as serving shoppers on Kings Road and in Ilkley, the business also supplies fish to many of the region’s top restaurants.
Sustainability is a big priority for the business, and all the Ramus staff can tell you exactly where the products have come from.
When their children grew up and left home, Audrey Smith and Diane Margis decided to fill the void that was left by opening a café – despite having no previous catering experience!
But their love of baking helped them create something special, which is still going strong four years later. It’s a warm and friendly café offering cakes, soups, sandwiches and hot dishes, all of which are made fresh on site.
The small premises on Kings Road has just 18 covers and a small outside seating area but that just adds to the cosy and chilled out feel of the place. Audrey describes the café as a little community, with regulars and staff all knowing each other by name.