From Java to Ipswich via Norfolk
- Credit: Archant
Ipswich shop offers cosmetics, candles and mango furniture
A new arrival at the Buttermarket shopping centre is The Java Store, which is a family business with a difference.
Former golf professional Howard Webb branched out into retail after supplying sustainable handmade furniture from Java across the country as a wholesaler.
His SJS furniture started out in Norfolk, importing and selling furniture and grew to supply many other retaillers.
They also have two shops in Norwich, including one in the Castle Mall shopping centre.
The stores sell their own furniture and other popular products, notably Yankee Candle and Bomb Cosmetics, so it can get pretty aromatic in the stores.
Howard Webb said: “We sell right across the UK. We wanted to do more closer to home, in East Anglia.
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“We could move into a bigger unit if it goes well here.
“The Norwich shops do very well.
“We have been going 15 years and the shops for four-and-a-half years.
“Yankee Candle is an enormous, popular brand and we have 40 frangrances out of more than 60.
“We only have a small selection of our furniture here, though we can always bring more.”
Their furniture story is really unique.
It came about after Howard’s sister, Caroline, a jewellery designer, went out to Indonesia to work.
She liked it out there, and decided to stay,
Initially she began sending garden furniture back to the UK, which Howard sold via garden centres.
Now Caroline Webb runs their own factory, in Semarang, Java employing local people and using only sustainable wood, from the mango, and non-endangered sources.
He said: “It is kiln dried, all solid mango wood, and sealed.
“We know our product is a good product and is fully traceable. It is a responsible business.
“We are employing local people in Java, and no under 18s, and have staff benefits.
“They are payed higher than then minimum wage, an annual bonus and holiday.
“They get a hot meal at lunchtime, which might be their only hot meal of the day.
“We have a range of furniture from bedrooms through to TV tables and dining tables, stained or in five different colours.
“Our Provencal range is very popular and we have Hampton Living range items here in Ipswich.
“We know if we have the stock already in the warehouse, and can arrange delivery right across the country, from Scotland to Penzance.”
The Java Store, Ipswich is on the ground floor of the Buttermarket Shopping Centre.