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Wade & Wallow store going strong off Lymington High Street

DESCRIBED as a “cosy and charming hidden gem” off Lymington High Street, the Wade & Wallow store has been offering townsfolk a taste of culinary adventure since October.

Owner Heather Richie promises the first thing to greet customers as they enter the New Street store – other than her friendly staff – will be the alluring aroma of fresh coffee and baked goods.

Heather says the shop’s “comforting ambiance and treasures” - including a selection of culinary books, pantry staples, local produce, fine foods, home goods, and antiquities – pays homage to her travels and food partners.

Wade and Wallow in Lymington. Inset Ronja Floren at work
Wade and Wallow in Lymington. Inset Ronja Floren at work

“We have received a warm reception from passers-by embracing our concept to stop in for a cup of coffee or cake, and also find something unique on the shelves,” Heather told the A&T.

“Whereas most food establishments tend to have a bit of stock, we're a retail establishment with a bit of food.

Wade and Wallow in Lymington
Wade and Wallow in Lymington

“We've been blessed with early partners such as barista Eleanore Watkins, who brought her coffee experience from her former cafe, Ben Maguire of HMS Spirits, and Andy Turley, whose appreciation for barbecue pulled pork was just what we needed to distinguish ourselves with a unique offering from my native American South.”

Ronja Floren at work at Wade and Wallow in Lymington
Ronja Floren at work at Wade and Wallow in Lymington

For avid sailor Heather, who hails from South Carolina, the odyssey of launching her own town centre store was blown off course by the pandemic.

“We had planned to open the store in late 2020 but were thwarted by the pandemic and a rollercoaster of challenges,” she said. “Not to be deterred, I set about refurbishing the store, launching the online shop to trade to the world, sourcing suppliers and learning the stories behind the brands.

“With support from HM Customs and Hampshire Chamber of Commerce, me and the team have now been able to open the store doors.”

Heather, an avid fly-fisher and food and travel journalist, said her store’s stock has been inspired by her roundabout journey from the US to Lymington via South Africa, the Mediterranean and Ireland, meeting producers and curating a stock list.

“We still have a long way to go with sustainable sales figures, but we hope our story is coming through as something different and in support of high street culture,” Heather said.

“That was the thing we knew we wanted to promote from the beginning: supporting local business with the same tools as the big box stores when it comes to e-commerce, import/export, and shipping. With the pandemic, we didn’t open when most retail shops reopened, so we're only just now applying our digital marketing expertise to our own retail location.”

Heather said customers can create bespoke hampers, kit bags and healthy lunch bags packed with delicious treats in store. Wade & Wallow is a also a stockist of Devon-based Weaver Green blankets and bags.

The store is open Monday to Saturday and customers can also buy products online at wadeandwallow.com

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