In the next instalment of our Locals’ Guide series, we’re taking a stroll along Commercial Street, Harrogate. This buzzing area is home to more than 20 independent shops and businesses offering a wealth of retailing expertise.
Did you know more than 50% of the shops on Commercial Street have been there for over ten years? There’s a real sense of community spirit among the traders and so much to explore: from speciality gift shops to Harrogate’s only second hand book store. For craft lovers, there are fabric and sewing shops – or take a break at well-known coffee house Bean & Bud. There’s lots for foodies too!
The shops’ owners work together on projects through the year, including fundraising for their Christmas lights with support from the volunteers of Harrogate at Christmas. They also have their own website, and Twitter and Facebook feeds, to spread the word about the brilliant independents in their street – it covers everything, including those we couldn’t squeeze in to our round-up!
Read on to discover more about this vibrant part of town.
Food and drink
With over 200 types of speciality cheeses, The Cheeseboard prides itself on being one of Yorkshire’s finest cheese shops. Established in 1988, it stocks the very best local, British and continental cheeses. The friendly staff are happy to offer advice or let you sample before you buy. Hampers and cheese wedding cakes are available, plus there’s delicious cheese accompaniments and gifts such as pates, oils/vinegars, crackers and olives. It’s a treat to go into this gem of a small shop and there’s certainly plenty to tempt all cheese lovers.
One of Harrogate’s longest established family butchers, Addyman’s has been providing the highest quality local meat to shoppers on Commercial Street for 40 years. All the meat is free-range: you can purchase home-made burgers and sausages not to mention delicious steak and pork pies baked fresh every day. And don’t miss out on the fresh Nidderdale farm eggs. The skilled butchers are happy to give advice and any cuts or quantities of meat can be prepared just as you like.
Looking for the perfect curry? Look no further than Rafi’s Spicebox. This business specialises in hand mixing spices for easy-to-use-at-home ‘curry packs’. You can have a pack made up tailored to your specific tastes and get recipe ideas too. So why not enjoy a top-notch curry with all the accompaniments in the comfort of your own home? Rafi’s is a family-owned business with just four shops, including this one on Commercial Street, Harrogate, and also sells online and via farm shops, butchers and other outlets.
We included Bean and Bud in our first ever Locals’ Guide (to independent coffee in Harrogate). The baristas and the rest of the team choose to visit Ruth and Hayden on their days off.
This award-winning coffee shop and tea house offers a changing menu of small batch artisan roasted coffees from boutique roasters around the country. Expert baristas are on hand to make recommendations to ensure you get just the right cup of coffee. With its warm and friendly atmosphere, Bean & Bud is a popular place to go. It also offers an extensive range of loose leaf teas including Black, Green, Oolong and Yellow teas. Ruth is more than happy to make recommendations to help you make the right choice (she’s a champion tea brewer).
Established in 1998, Books for All is the only second hand book shop in Harrogate! And it has a huge stock of around 20,000 books covering a wide variety of tastes and interests. The collection includes all types of fiction and specialises in history, the arts, children’s and illustrated books. It might look small from the outside but the shop has three rooms over two floors stacked floor to ceiling. Books for All also buys and sells vinyl LPs and has a small collection of CDs and DVDs.
We’ve mentioned Crown Jewellers in our previous Locals’ Guide to Christmas Shopping in Harrogate. This delightful family boutique jewellers, run by Stephen and Sue Kramer, opened in 2000. It offers an individual selection of up market jewellery from luxury certified diamonds to contemporary silver pieces. It also specialises in a range of pre-owned Tiffany & Co jewellery. Stephen is one of the most highly-qualified diamond and gem experts in Harrogate. With more than 30 years in the business, he is a Diamond and Fellow member of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain. Customers can benefit from unrivalled expertise and an exceptional professional service.
‘A treasure trove of unique gifts’, Miss Claire Rose aims to offer local craftspeople, UK designers and artists an outlet for their work. It’s a unique shopping experience: from Dichroic Glass made in South Yorkshire to lingerie designed and made in Boroughbridge, original art from Harrogate to stunning faux fur designed and made in Devon. Claire is always happy to help you choose the right gift so you’re sure to find something special.
Featured in our Locals’ Guide to Independent Craft Shops, The Remnant House is a firm favourite among Harrogate craft enthusiasts. This tucked away hidden gem has been on Commercial Street for 40 years and is a ‘must go to’ for anyone embarking on a crafting project. You’ll find a huge stock of fabrics to make anything from clothing to curtains, bundles for patchworks, colourful patterns for children’s projects and much more. It also has an extensive online shop so you can browse at your leisure.
For a specialist sewing machine shop, look no further than White Rose Sewing. You’ll find all the accessories you might need and a fantastic range of haberdashery. With its unique selection of shops, Commercial Street really does have something for everyone. As well as the stores we’ve mentioned above, it’s got an electrical hardware shop, charity shops, two hairdressers, a beauty salon, a designer lighting shop and tattoo parlour. Many of the businesses have been established on the street for years. Harrogate’s only independent pet shop, Stothards, opened in 1968. Surely, it’s just one of the reasons why Commercial Street has such a strong community atmosphere and a warm welcome awaits!