Shop Keeping, Episode 2

Display Your Personality

Nov 16, 2019 · 2 min read

“Nice things, made by nice people”

Did you read episode one? If not, that’s your homework. Today I am addressing “Nice things”

I had a shop to stock. With no retail experience, I thought about the shops I liked (and those I didn’t). My guide was, if I walked in would I think, Yes! and stay for a look? It couldn’t be only my personal taste (that’s a Wendy House, not a shop); but it had to be “me”, an extension of my personality.

#Hashtags are your best friend when you don’t know any suppliers. I searched Instagram & Etsy, starting with a key word, following links, then making contact. I spoke with women who designed textiles, glass bowls, wooden breadboards, printed placemats, pottery tankards, porcelain teacups. I found American cast iron skillets and Italian frying pans, Finnish enamelware and Danish tableware.

“Why”, I asked myself, “would a shop sell cookware, but nothing to cook in it?”. So I sourced spices and herbs, oils and vinegars, condiments and purées.

“What’s for afters?” I found jams and shortbread, teas and coffees, oatcakes and marshmallows, chocolate and honeys.

Provenance. It’s important whether selling an enamelware mug or a local biscuit. I will tell you its story and assure you of its quality. Because my stock is the link between us, customer and shopkeeper.

My shop is me; my teapots are me; and my chocolate bars are me. When you walk in the door of One Basket, Kelso, you know me before we even exchange greetings.

Thank you for reading my stories. The next episode will be, Opening Day.

See you there.

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Written by


Food writing, living in the Scottish Borders.

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