First-time shop and café owners open at Ipswich Microshops

Ben Stamp opened the Cookie Barista cafe at Ipswich Microshops

Ben Stamp opened the Cookie Barista cafe at Ipswich Microshops - Credit: Archant

Ipswich Microshops' first businesses have moved into the indoor market.  

CookieBarista and Blooming lovely flowers have both taken the plunge to open their first-ever businesses when the new retail space opened at the former Peacock store on Carr Street.  

Microshops in Ipswich has opened with two businesses 

Paul Ransom talks to new businesses at Ipswich Microshops - Credit: Archant

Centre manager Paul Ransom, from Ipswich, hopes commercial property and investment firm LCP will support other businesses get a "foothold". 

"Where you have got big spaces there is just not the retail demand," Mr Ransom said. "And also gives people the opportunity to progress."

Microshops in Ipswich has opened 

Microshops in Ipswich has opened - Credit: Archant

He explained the rolling contract means shops do not pay utility, can rent monthly, and expand within the hall if they are successful.  

"This is phase one - get it up and running and the intention is to have more retail spaces or have more business pods."

Next to move in will be a vintage clothes unit, a mental health charity, a vintage Hi-Fi and Jamaican, Nigerian and Greek food outlets. 

Blooming lovely flowers from new owner Zoe Foulger

Blooming lovely flowers from new owner Zoe Foulger - Credit: Archant

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Single-mum and part-time cleaner  Zoe Foulger was a home business for three years before she got the opportunity to start Blooming lovely flowers thanks to Ipswich Microshops. 

Ms Fulger was "happy" to sign a six-month lease and likes the small space for her stock. 

She also started an allotment near her garden in Chantry from which she also hopes to sell flowers. 

CookieBarista from owner Ben Stamp at Ipswich Microshops

CookieBarista from owner Ben Stamp at Ipswich Microshops - Credit: Archant

Ben Stamp, who used to work at Suffolk Food Hall and Costa, said he had enough working for other people and had the idea four weeks ago and now has his new cafe. 

Father-of-three Mr Stamp, from Ipswich, said: "They said they wanted a coffee shop at the front and I snapped their hands off and said I will take it. 

"As we build more tenants and people come on board. We'll see a buzz."

Ipswich Microshops has opened its doors for the first time on Carr Street

Freshly baked cookies at Ipswich Microshops - Credit: Archant

He hopes a "supportive" community will be built through the Microshops space by new shops keeping it local. And has taken his own steps with Halstead-made Freshpac Teas and Coffee and Hadleigh-manufactured cookies from The Fork, using his recipe and baked on Carr Street. 

Ipswich Microshops has opened its doors for the first time on Carr Street

Ruth Stamp enjoying a coffee on Carr Street - Credit: Archant

Ruth Stamp, the CookieBarista's mum, who joined him for the opening, hoped it will make people come back into town. 

"I've seen it in other towns and I've loved going into those places," she said. 

Ipswich Microshops has opened its doors for the first time

Nadine Moore visited Ipswich Microshops for the first time on Carr Street - Credit: Archant

Nadine Moore was looking forward to the reopening and was happy to see free cookie pieces on offer. 

"I just think it will be nice to have a little more input," she said. "It's exciting. I'm looking forward to it."

But other shoppers still feel "nervous" about visiting the town. 

One woman, who asked to be anonymous, said despite having the vaccine she worries people are not socially distancing enough. 

"This my first trip in for months," she said. "It's not right. They should be allowed to challenge or not serve non-mask wearers. 

"I think mask-wearing should be maintained [after July 19] in places like [Ipswich Microshops] which will be enclosed."

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