There’s a new buzz in Harrogate, fresh and free of spirit. It’s shaking up some of the town’s residual fustiness, bringing energy, life, hope.
I’m talking about a new shopping destination. At its simplest, 53 Bo’ Grove is a large store showcasing a collection of independent vintage traders and designer-makers. But it is so much more than that. It has parking. It has a café, a great new place to meet for coffee, cake and sandwiches. And, upstairs, it has an area for workshops, a bright and lofty seminar or tutorial space with trestle tables, suitable for teaching maybe 20 people at a time – floral design is on the menu so far, with more to be announced. There’s a plant stall outside (beautifully presented and prices are soooo reasonable). And, coming very soon, The Refilling Station, which will offer the opportunity to shop ethically, with groceries and household essentials free from unnecessary packaging.
Opened less than a month ago, 53 Bo’ Grove (the Bo’ is short for Bohemian) is, as its name suggest, on Grove Road, at the Skipton Road end, opposite Grove Road Primary School. It’s taken over a former tile showroom (which means the flooring is gleaming white and luxe). And now it is home to an eclectic mix of independent vintage, retro and crafting traders selling homewares, furniture, fashion, jewellery, art, music and more, offering an attractive, sustainable, quality-focused alternative to High Street chain stores, online shops and out-of-town retail parks.
The Refilling Station, which already has a branch in Chapel Allerton, Leeds, will offer eco-friendly products such as household detergent refills, low-waste kitchen items, household goods, bathroom stuff, loose natural foods and snacks and ethical groceries. The aim is to encourage less waste and packaging, so people in Harrogate – and beyond – can shop more in a more eco-conscious way.
Those involved (such a lovely bunch, they are too) hope that 53 Bo’ Grove will become a creative hub for the town too, as well as somewhere to buy quality fashion and home wares that are reused and repurposed (we’ve all been watching The Repair Shop – we know this can only be a good thing).
Traders include: Floral Design by Caroline; INTU Vintage & Retro; P&C Music; Ian MacDougall Art; Sealed With A Heart; Softpots; Swish & Sway, and more (these are based merely on the cards I picked up from the counter). There will be more announced soon.
In 53 Bo’ Grove’s mission statement, founder Kyrensa Bentley says the business is based in the community for the community. “Our ethos is to create a business, which supports and promote other small enterprises in the area. The remit for the business is to source items ethically and responsibly that can be re-used, re-purposed and up-cycled. The retail spaces will promote works by local artists, artisans and collectors.
“Our local grocery refill store will also encourage school children to recognise the global issues regarding reduction of plastics used in society and weigh and use mathematics.
“Bo’ Grove is committed to support and educate all ages and we plan to hold workshops to inspire the local community to learn new skills such as floral arrangements, sewing skills, etc. The space in the upper level of the retail shop is ideal for this purpose.
“Our café is run by local people and offers a range of artisan coffees and teas and delicious locally made cakes and sandwiches. Where possible the food is ethically sourced.
“In short 53 Bo’ Grove will work hard to create an environment that nurtures and supports the local community by encouraging awareness of global issues of recycling, reusing and plastic free environments. Starting at grass roots.
Good for you and good for them. “
We say, well done. If ever there was a time for a viable, quality-driven and super-stylish alternative to cheap, planet-destroying mass consumerism, this is it. There’s a new place in town, somewhere to shop and learn, chill and chat. Check it out. You’ll be sold.
There’s a new website coming soon. Meanwhile, check out the 53 Bo’ Grove Facebook page and the Instagram: @53bogrove