CUSTOMER service, product knowledge and passion – these are just some of the things we look out for when exploring and experiencing a city.
Salisbury is filled with special traders who already offer this, breathing life into the city with their love for the community and what they do.
It is this drive and enthusiasm that keeps shoppers returning to the city time and time again.
From coffee houses to bespoke retailers, we at the Journal asked you to shine a light on the businesses and individuals that go the extra mile in making Salisbury a wonderful place to live.
Since launching the nomination form the Journal has received more than 150 entries from you – our readers – detailing your treasured places, why these outlets should be recognised, your special memories and why you can’t wait to visit in a post-Covid world.
Now, we can reveal 20 of the traders put forward.
In no particular order, below is a list of just some of the businesses celebrated by our readers.
1) Ingrid’s Gallery Boutique
Entrepreneur Ingrid Walker is known for her passion in designing and making bespoke knitwear, making her business a favourite in the area.
Nominated by 14 of our readers, Ingrid’s boutique has been celebrated for a mixture of reasons including “carefully and lovingly hand-made products”, use of local and Britsh materials and product knowledge and quality.
Each nomination applauds Ingrid for her collection and the personal service she provides.
Local resident Mathew Parker said: “Ingrid makes high quality, handmade garments and sells art from local artists in the area. She knows so much about the artists she sells and is always going above and beyond in her shop to bring Salisbury really unique offerings.”
One reader who wished to remain anonymous said: “Ingrid is an incredibly talented artist, her boutique is a hidden gem and deserves to be better known in Salisbury.
“Ingrid’s Gallery Boutique offers a range of pieces of art for all tastes, whether you are looking for a knitted top, a portrait painting, or the perfect gift.”
The city’s crystal store has been compared to the cave of treasure in ‘Aladdin’ by one of our readers, for its vast selection of gems, stones and jewellery.
Aside from the magical movie reference, Anna Wilde nominated the business for its “friendly staff” and “great gifts”, adding she takes her children there where they spend their pocket money.
Sophie Ridyard, who confessed she has been a loyal customer since the shop first opened, could not speak highly enough about the Crystals staff, who “went the extra mile” in her time of need.
Talking about the health benefits of crystals, Sophie said: “I was truly shocked at my cancer diagnosis in 2015, I was deeply upset and looking for some extra healing through crystals.
“The staff were so comforting and knowledgeable, took time with me, even gave hugs!
“I’m pleased to say I’m cancer-free now, but I’ll never forget the kindness they’ve shown me. When you go into the shop it’s so calming.”
3) The Cake Forge
A “cake-maker’s paradise” is how Sally Hughes from Hindon described The Cake Forge – a shop and studio in The Maltings known for its bespoke sweet treats and cooking materials.
Dan and Kate Mills are the masterminds behind the business, and Sally said she nominated them as “they go the extra mile to ensure you have everything you need”, with “friendly, efficient service and excellent quality stock”.
From birthdays to weddings, Dan brings art and themes to life through cake so foodies and dessert-lovers can celebrate events in style.
4) Regent Tailoring
This shop, a frontrunner in menswear and styling, has been put forward by one of our readers for how it stayed conncted to its customers throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
The nominator, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “Whether it’s a video on Instagram to help cheer people up, online style conditions, or offering doorstep collections and ‘to your door’ deliveries for the vulnerable and those self isolating, Jason and his family have pulled out all the stops to keep their business alive within the guidelines.”
Owner Jason Regent was singled out for his personal style, diversifying stock, offering new products and his customer service.
5) Reeve the Baker
A staple in Salisbury’s food and drink scene, Reeve has been given a shout out by two of our readers, with a special shout out to its bread.
One nominator, who wished to remain anonymous, highlighted the bakery’s multiseed sourdough loaves as “delicious and unique”, and described the site as “an excellent, traditional bakery”.
Also with a branch along Silver Street, a second nominator said Reeve was “an integral part of the Market Square”, adding that a favourite memory was the smiley service they received when ordering double macchiatos during the lockdowns.
A final comment read: “Always friendly in the shop and cafe and lovely grub!”
6) The Rocketship Bookshop
An independent book store for children and young people, The Rocketship Bookshop landed in Salisbury City Centre last year, and has already won the hearts of several residents.
Talking about the business and owner Jo Boyles, nominator Johanna Walker said: “Jo is always lovely, comes with great recommendations and the service is amazing! It’s our new favourite shop!”
Two other Rocketship lovers, who wished to remain anonymous, praised Jo for her product knowledge and book recommendations, and described the shop’s interior as “friendly and cosy”.
7) b&r Textiles
A reader, who wished to remain anonymous, told the Journal that they happily travel around 45 minutes to Salisbury to receive the service of this specialist store in The Maltings, when Covid restrictions allow.
The supplier of bespoke curtains, blinds and fabrics has been recognised as offering “excellent quality products with friendly service”.
Despite being at the heart of the first Novichok cordon, as well as a year of Covid-19 closures, this resilient business will always see the return of its loyal customers.
8) Pritchetts Family Butchers
Known for their customer service and mission to support locally-sourced meat, the Pritchetts team has been nominated for its adaptibility during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Elisabeth Crossley said the team was quick to alter the business when the first lockdown was introduced, adding its website was “very informative” regarding changes and delivery details.
Elisabeth added it is the relationship with customers and the commitment to reducing food miles that makes Pritchetts special.
Second nominator Christine Richardson commended the butchers for being “traditional”, as well as supplying “great food at reasonable prices and brilliant customer service”.
9) The Old Ale and Coffee House
The home of some of the finest wines and beers, this pub along Crane Street has been described as “a warm, welcoming pub with great food”.
Karen Geddes, who made the nomination, said she visited The Old Ale and Coffee House for lunch during a house hunt, and after “a friendly greeting and a lovely meal of mussels in cider sauce”, she knew she’d be going back again.
This pub near the cathedral is blessed with a large garden, three beach huts and a marquee, so was more than ready to reopen on April 12.
10) Hair by Carla
Nominated by nine readers, this eco-friendly salon is tucked away on the outskirts of Salisbury, offering hair and beauty treatments with an ethical, sustainable twist.
According to Mary Antoinette Perry, who has been visiting the salon for nearly 15 years, owner Carla Corte makes her customers feel good both inside and out, with her “big heart, magic hands and healing personality”.
Carla works alongside beauty therapist Justyna Misinska, and nominator Emma Verdin commended the business for its professionalism and bespoke results, always walking away from appointments “feeling like a goddess”.
Other praise for the business included its focus on protecting the environment, in particular through product selection, and the level of care, knowledge and passion offered by the team.
11) Foxtrot Vintage Clothing
Entering the city centre via Fisherton Street you will stumble across Foxtrot – the ultimate business for buying and selling everything and anything vintage.
A reader who wished to remain anonymous described the store, owned by Elena Jackson, as “a wonderful gem”, complimenting the window display in particular for “brightening up the street”.
Opened in 2006, Foxtrot is a supplier of ‘true vintage’ stock, meaning majority of the clothes are legitimately from the 1940s – 1980s.
The nominator added: “The shop has seen off several recessions and competitors with its friendly service and high quality of stock. It’s a pleasure to see a small business thriving!”
The “family atmosphere and friendly community” of this independent cafe has been praised by one of our anonymous nominators, who is thrilled to have found the perfect spot for a Saturday breakfast with her children.
Whether you need a quick coffee fix or you’re meeting friends for lunch, the same reader said the cafe’s “accomodating, friendly and community atmosphere” makes Greengages a special place in the heart of Salisbury to enjoy food and drink.
The coffee house and restaurant is temporarily closed but is aiming to reopen in line with the next lockdown changes.
From speciality cookware to gifts sourced from all over the world, there is something for everyone in this family-run retailer.
Hollie Miller, who nominated the Market Place home and kitchenware store, said her favourite memory with the business was finding her wedding cake ornament.
Dinghams was put forward by Hollie for its mixture of both “unique and traditional” baking and home products.
She added: “It was just getting back on its feet following the Russian spy poisoning and has now been hit by Covid.
“The owners and staff opened as soon as they could and have continued to improve their website ordering service and ‘click and collect’.”
14) The Hat Shop
Described as “the best hat shop in Salisbury”, this business was put forward by Andrea Hamel of Stratford sub Castle, for its “great service and fabulous hats”.
Andrea’s favourite time in the store is when she is snapping up sun hats for her children.
A member of staff from The Hat Shop suggested it could have been nominated for its opportunity, as a specialist shop, to “stock such a varied range that customers would struggle to find elsewhere”.
The family behind the business, at its home in The Maltings, shares more than 12 years of experience in hats.
15) Henderson’s Artisan Bakery and Cafe
“Excellent service and produce” is why this eatery on the Market Square has been supported by locals.
One nominator said Paul Henderson and the team had worked hard throughout the pandemic to keep customers safe and meet demand, while providing “delicious bread, buns and pastries”.
Noting the chelsea buns in particular, resident Sue Freemantle said: “In the first lockdown Henderson’s offered a delivery service.
“It has kept going offering takeaway, still keeping up excellent high standards in these difficult times.”
The team takes pride in creating breads, buns, cakes and pastries on the premises using locally and sustainably sourced ingredients.
16) Central Fruits
These traders, a favourite during Saturday’s charter market, have been nominated for their work throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, ensuring as many people as possible are supplied with fresh fruit and vegetables.
Lesa Snook, one of the six nominators, said: “Nothing is too big or too small for Central Fruits, they’ve been amazing throughout all three lockdowns.”
This was echoed by our other readers, including Samantha Pounder who said the outlet is “always providing great service with a smile”.
Owned by Matt Sherman and Shane Gilkes, Central Fruits was commended for its role at the centre of the community – providing food to the most vulnerable, deliveries, and teaming up with other businesses, charities and projects.
Natalie Powell said weekly roast dinner giveaways was just one of the ways that Matt and Shane “went above and beyond to keep the community thriving”.
17) Roly’s Fudge Pantry
From “delicious fudge” to a “warm and welcoming atmosphere”, shoppers with a sweet tooth do not want to miss out on this hidden sweet store.
The same nominator added that the pantry had “the best fudge and customer service in Wiltshire”.
“Every time my children and I go in we are welcomed warmly with smiles and chat. The team is knowledgeable about the products and always goes out of its way for customers.”
Originating from Devon over 30 years ago, there are now 45 independently-run family fudge pantries across the UK. Our’s is tucked away near the High Street Gate.
18) Sienna Taye Hairdressing
Emma Porter from Downton nominated this salon for its “relaxed but professional” approach, making it the best salon she has visited since leaving London seven years ago.
Emma, who had taken one of her daughters to Sienna Taye to have her hair styled for prom, added: “The way they treat their clients; they give time to every single person no matter what they’re having done.
“I’ve always felt unhurried because they give longer appointments, so there’s plenty of time to discuss what you want doing. It offers a really personal touch I’ve never experienced anywhere else.”
One of the newer hair and beauty businesses in the Salisbury area, Sienna Taye has already won awards, including Best Hair Salon of the Year at the 2019 English Hair and Beauty Awards.
19) Maul’s Wine and Cheese Bar
One of our readers selected this cheese and wine boutique as their favourite trader for helping them survive the Covid-19 pandemic with “imaginative” online wine tasting sessions.
Set up by husband and wife Andy and Ellen Maul, the nominator added: “Hospitality had taken a pasting but Andy and Ellen have adapted and strengthened the brand and we really hope they can survive this.”
You can find the bar along Fish Row, which is currently offering outdoor seating, so shoppers can sit back and enjoy a glass of wine and a cheese slate.
20) Pennyfarthing Secondhand and Collectables
This little Salisbury outlet is enjoyed by antique and history lovers, who are able to sell and pick up lots of vintage treasure.
From electronics to games and jewellery, there are always lots of goodies in store, but the team is always looking for more interesting and quirky products.
Describing this business as “a hidden gem”, one reader, anonymous, said: “Tony Beese [of Pennyfarthing] really cares about the antiques and collectibles he sells and remains down to earth and friendly.
“I have been to far too many stuck up and over priced antique shops.”
If you’d like to nominate your favourite business for a future feature, find out more information and fill out the form here.
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