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Richardsons Of Whitehaven, Whitehaven, Cumbria

Richardsons Of Whitehaven

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Lowther St

CA28 7DG

Telephone: 0194665334

We are Fine Wine Merchants and Coffee Roasters. Our speciality focus is on Ports and Fortified Wines but we also stock a wide range of fine new world wines.

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Best Small Shops competition 2020

Best Small Shops Competition - shortlisted
Best Small Shops Competition - shortlisted for Innovation

What makes you the UK's Best Small Shop

We are a High Street shop barely 15 by 20 foot in size yet we offer a range of nearly 1000 Fine Wines, Vintage Ports, foods and we roast our own coffee beans in store.
We regularly offer social media competitions but the rewards must be collected in-store rather than posted as part of our attempt to drive people to the street. We offer discounts to local residents of the Marina as well as to the Emergency Services (Blue Light Card) and current armed forces and veterans (Defence Discount Card). We started to re-use card delivery boxes to reduce plastic waste a few years ago and at first, customers thought we were eccentric offering them an old box or reused bags. Now people ask for them. We adopted a new store epos and payment system last year that now enables us to offer e gift cards which have been very popular.

What innovations did you initiate to combat the impact of COVID-19

When the lockdown was imposed, we didnt have to close ourselves but our location on the High Street, surrounded by gifty type shops meant there wasnt enough footfall so we closed to renovate. During that period, we kept the coffee roasting going but donated all our roasts to the local Hospital, Ambulance teams, Fire Service and both the local Police and the Nuclear Police at Sellafield.

The renovation included a larger counter space with more room for us to work with social distancing, a covid screen and also rather wackily, a giant, G Gauge Train set on an 8 foot diameter track in the shop window. That has helped footfall a lot since we reopened.

We also launched our first ever web site. We never really wanted to go on the web as a local shop but we have a geographic limiter to keep deliveries within 25 miles and we offer kerbside collection as well as safe deliveries.

On top of that, we decided to help increase footfall for the town as a whole by launching and part sponsoring a town wide exhibition of old town centre photographs. The images are all large scale and are displayed in shop windows to encourage people to walk around the town and re-engage with shops. The exhibition is accompanied by a leaflet in which we have listed all the businesses, local, national, service and retail in the town centre.

Tell us how you engage with the local community

We took the decision when we opened 25 years ago to be an active part of the local community both as a business and in general. As a result, we've organised events for two decades bringing hundreds of thousands of visitors to the town. An official estimate 6 years ago was that our events had brought in millions of spending to the town.
We currently organise Cumbrian Traders Markets in conjunction with the town council. Our shop itself is packed with old ship models, local memorabilia and general bits and bobs to make it nice and attractive to visitors. We also roast coffee in-store and vent the roasting aroma to the high street.
I write a wine column for the local press as well as several regional newspapers in London, Surrey and Oxford. I also have a national column in the Scottish Herald.

Key Services

How to find us

Directions to this business

-3.58809 54.5478

Opening hours

Tuesday:09:00 – 14:00
Wednesday:09:00 – 14:00
Thursday:09:00 – 14:00
Friday:09:00 – 14:00
Saturday:09:00 – 14:00