And the award for the best independent shopping arcade goes to…

Greetings Rockpoolers! Hope we’ve all had a good summer? Apologies for the radio silence – we’ve been holed up in the shop, making the most of the lovely tourists on Plymouth’s historic and beautiful Barbican. We’ve met and chatted to everyone from Birmingham to the Bahamas, and it reminds you how lovely folks are.

Meanwhile, BIG NEWS: the summer has been rounded off with a lovely achievement for us. Rockpool has been shortlisted in the snappily titled “best homeware, gift shop, arts and crafts, hobbies and interests retailer” category at the Plymouth Herald City and Waterfront Business awards. After only being open for 6 months, this was entirely unexpected and so amazingly appreciated. As a small business, positive feedback is just so so lovely, so to be listed among other fabulously successful independent retailers in Plymouth is, well, awesome.

It got us thinking about how many successful independent businesses have come out of The House That Jack Built since it opened it’s doors as an independent shopping archade in 1982. For over 30 years it has been the home of the individual and the artisan, the quirky and the off beat, the crafty and the unusual, and it holds a dear place in the hearts of locals and tourists alike. But aside from this, it has also given the opportunity for small businesses like ours to start out of the uber scary journey of trading, without the crippling rents and rates that can come with a prime high street spot. Case in point: 3 of the current businesses in The House That Jack Built were nominated in our business awards category alone, and 2 (ourselves and our lovely neiughbours Funky Poppy) have been shortlisted. Another shortlisted business (Eva’s World) is an alumni from the arcade, and there are at least 4 other businesses on the Barbican who started in this little rabbit warren of shops and galleries.

In short, every city should have a House That Jack Built, because without it, Plymouth might not have the fabulous range of independent shopping it has today. And we wouldn’t have the excuse to buy a posh new frock… 🙂