A new business has been showing its support for one of St Elizabeth Hospice’s newest shops, helping to create a thriving business community in the east of Ipswich.
The St Elizabeth Hospice shop on Heath Road opened in March and transformed the empty commercial shop into a retail space, café and community hub.
The shop which was the former Heath News Post Office is now a two-floor shop selling ladies and men’s fashion, books, bric-a-brac and a large toy department. The space also has a café and a community hub which is used for local events and community groups.
Soon after it opened, Foxhall Estate Agents opened next door and since then the two businesses have been working together to support each other.
Emma-Jane Ford, at Foxhall Estate Agents said: “The street started as two empty businesses, but when we heard it was going to be for the hospice, it invigorated us into creating something new here.
“We are a family run company but pride ourselves on being a small and friendly estate agency with traditional values. We want to support the hospice shop as much as possible and continue to work together to help each other.
“The new shop has brought a lot of business to us and has made this part of Heath Road busy once again, which is fantastic for all the businesses here.”
The company says they wanted to break the mould of normal estate agents and give their customers a relaxed and friendly environment for them to visit.
Emma-Jane said: “We don’t like to be pushy with our customers, so we’ll give them the brochures to look at and encourage them to visit the hospice shop next door and spend some time in their café before making any decisions.
“The shop also helps our customers, by giving them a local place to drop off donations when they are having a clear out of their homes before they move. We understand what it’s like to move and it’s a stressful time in people’s lives. We don’t want to add to anyone’s stress and be there when people need help.
“I think charity shops and estate agents have a stigma attached to them, but I think both of our businesses break this stigma as we are friendly and community-minded places to visit. Also a lot of people don’t realise that the shops sells lots of new items – I’ve recently bought lots of great stocking fillers!”
The family run company, led by couple, Jonathan Waters and Emma-Jane, explained that their passion for supporting local charities comes from the values within their family.
Emma-Jane said: “The hospice touches everybody and we understand as a business the difficulties all families go through. We think it’s important that we all continue to work together to support each other and ensure our businesses remain part of the community here.”
Heath Road is St Elizabeth Hospice’s newest shop and it sells a wide range of men’s and women’s fashion. It also includes a concession from our Zest range plus a coffee shop which sells hot and cold drinks, as well as sweet and savoury treats. The information hub and community room at the back of the shop are regularly used by local groups and for the shop’s events which include craft events and activities for children.
To find out more about the shop, visit: https://www.stelizabethhospice.org.uk/charity-shop/heath-road/