Here are the 11 shops that have transformed this town’s high street
PUBLISHED: 07:45 20 December 2019 | UPDATED: 12:37 20 December 2019
A Norfolk town has fought back against high street decline and drastically reduced empty shops from 14 to just three.
Earlier this month, this newspaper reported that empty shops in Holt had decreased massively in just three months.
All 11 of the permanent shop openings have helped add a new buzz to the town with everything from coffee shops opening too estate agents and a dog boutique.
Here are the 11 new shops on Holt's high street:
1. Tilley and Grace
The business, founded by husband and wife Perry and Sally Hicks, has made a name for itself offering colourful, sensibly priced, items for ladies.
The stores are named after the Hicks' youngest daughter Grace and their dog Tilley and they opened their sixth shop in Holt in November.
Owner Sally Hicks said: "We needed larger premises and the footfall is a little bit greater at that end of Holt so I think it will be a lovely addition to the town which is really on the up."
Aurina Lambert opened her new Holt shop in November selling lifestyle items for the home, gifts and some women's fashions.
Aurina herself grew up just outside Holt and always wanted to have a shop in the town.
Mrs Lambert said: "It was always a dream of mine to open a store in Holt. We have had a brilliant response so far and are really enjoying it."
3. Big Skies Estates
The business came to Holt at the start of December and specialise in coastal properties, second homes and holiday cottages.
Hetti Simpson set up Big Skies Estates Ltd after she returned from living in France and qualified as an estate agent.
Sophie Ollerenshaw, the negotiator at Big Skies, said: "It is going great, the client base and other shops are all very welcoming. It's great to have a premisses in Holt and show that we're not your typical estate agents."
4. The Wandering Whelk
One of the first shops you see if you decide to park in the Albert Street Carpark is The Wandering Whelk.
The shop, Which is the sister shop of The Whelk Coppers Tearooms in Sheringham, sell coffee, cake and all day brunch.
They opened in November during the Holt Christmas Light switch-on selling homemade mince pies.
5. Folly and Rose
Folly and Roses have a love of alternative living and creating the home that reflects individual tastes.
Owner, Rosie Carpenter-Fretwell, started the business as an Etsy store before opening a store in Holt in September.
She said: "I grew up in Cambridge and ended up in Scotland. Me and my partner always knew that we wanted to make Norfolk our home and we took the leap this year. The shop has been brilliant, I fell in love with Holt when I first came here."
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The Follyology store opened in late November and sells everything from wooden hares and Thornback & Peel oven mits bags too fairtrade Christmas decorations and blended teas.
Owners Judith West and Jane Davidson opened the shop along side, which also sells clothing and jewellery from new designers in addition to Folly Tearoom.
Mrs West said: "We're very passionate about sustainability, that's why we started to offer the sustainable womens clothing as well as fairtrade Christmas decorations. We also make our own teas that you won't find anywhere else."
Utopia is a unique concept gallery for interiors which opened in November.
Multi-award winning designers Jac Scott and Michael Slaney form the backbone of Utopia, which sells contemporary artworks inspired by Norfolk's flora, fauna and land.
Mrs Scott said: "We had our old shop for 12 years and when we needed more space, we gravitated towards Holt. We have had a brilliant reception so far and are very happy."
8. Fairfax and Favor
Marcus Fairfax Fountaine and business partner Felix Favor Parker opened their first ever shop in Holt with a launch party in mid-October.
The shop makes shoe shopping even more fun with a large bar built into the first floor where they serve up gin cocktails from locally-made Twelve Keys gin.
Mr Parker said: "We couldn't have opened the shop without our online business doing so well but we believe in the high street and we'll never give up on going to the shows."
9. Woofers and Barkers
Opened in August 2019, the dog boutique has an emphasis on ethical practice and sustainability of products.
The range extends from dog apparel including brands from Spain and Italy that can only be found in Woofers too beds, toys and treats.
Owner, Martin Allan said: "Since we have opened we have had thousands of customers, 1,500 dogs and only three small accidents! We knew how dog friendly Holt is and people seem to be enjoying the shop."
10. Crown House Flowers
Crown House Flowers is an independent florist serving Holt, Norwich and Norfolk, specialising in creating floral designs for all occasions using as many natural, fresh and locally-sourced elements as possible.
The shop, located on the main high street sells beautiful arrangements for a range of occasions.
Owner, Penny Nicholas said: "Since we opened in Holt it has been great, I think if you are a unique business and offer something different you will do well."
11. Cross St Union Cafe
Cross Street Union opened at the end of October and sells speciality coffee, home baked Swedish inspired pastries and is north Norfolk's only natural wine outlet.
The family run business consists of owners Danny and Sophie along with their two boys Fico and Alfie.
Sophie said: "We live in Holt and love how fiercely supportive the town is when it comes to independent stores."
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