Steamer Trading Cookshop will open its 37th branch, at Wells in Somerset, on Saturday (April 30).
The Mayor of Wells, councillor Gordon Wilson, will start the opening at 10.30am by accepting the keys of the store from a man who shares his name: Gordon Wilson, a member of the Steamer Trading’s store set- up team.
Acclaimed artist Simon Drew, the founder of Simon Drew Gallery Designs, will also be there, sketching in his own unique style and signing copies of his latest book.
Simon works in pen and ink with an emphasis on wildlife and everyday subjects. His drawings are shown on greetings cards, mugs and aprons which have been stocked by Steamer Trading for many years. Simon regularly exhibits at Spring Fair.
The newly renovated shop will contain a purpose-built demonstration area where staff, as well as invited guests, will put products through their paces.
The Grade II listed building that now houses Steamer Trading was originally built around 1453, but modified significantly in the late 18th and early 19th century. It is located at 17 Market Place, in the shadow of the cathedral.’
The 1,150sq ft premises was previously occupied by Kitchenmonger cookshop, which had been trading on the site since 1998.
Steamer Trading managing director Ben Phillips said: “All the original Kitchenmonger staff have stayed, which we’re delighted about.” He continued: “Wells is a relatively small branch but the intention is to find out how a lot of our more recent developments in displays and demonstrations might translate to a smaller size store.”
Ben added: “Wells is a very nice city to be in.” It is the smallest city in England with around 12,000 inhabitants, but can still call itself a city due to the 13th century cathedral which dominates the local landscape.
The housewares specialist retailer stressed that it will continue to supply “the good people of Somerset with the best brands of kitchenware, delivered with the best possible levels of customer service”.
Meanwhile, Steamer Trading intends to open a new branch in June in the Cornish city of Truro. Measuring 4,400sq t over two floors, the outlet is in a prime location on Pydar Street, near the cathedral. The premises is a Grade II listed building that was previously occupied by fashion retailer River Island. The store will include a cookery school, operating under the Divertimenti brand.