Young parents and carers across Barnstaple can now find all the items they need for their baby thanks to a new shop.
The Baby Bay, at 12a Holland Walk, opened its doors a fortnight ago, providing prams, clothes, gifts and more for new-borns and toddlers.
The shop is Julia Relf’s second business in the town after opening health and beauty shop, The Bay, on Boutport Street earlier this year.
Julia, 52, was born and bred in Barnstaple, before marrying and moving away. The former Sainsbury’s training manager then returned three years ago, where she ran a stall at the Pannier Market.
She explained: “During lockdown, we couldn’t go out to work in the Pannier Market which was closed. We couldn’t sell our bath bombs and health and beauty products there so I decided to open The Bay and put all my products there.
“In the meantime, this shop had become available and since our first shop was going well, we thought about what we could put in here that Barnstable needs.
“We walked the streets and found out there were no shops catering for new mothers, and decided to open a store for babies.”
Julia, who runs the business with her two children said they all agreed that there was few places to buy a pushchair or baby accessories.
“Having foster children I knew that if parents needed that sort of thing, they have to travel to Exeter or Plymouth,” she said.
“We came to Holland Street and found this shop which is ideal for it. We have a downstairs with lots of items and upstairs we’ve got all the prams, pushchairs and cots.”
They are also running a baby club. Julia explained: “People can come in, become a member and put in savings each month so that it spreads the cost of their baby needs.
“Parents and grandparents can all add to that pot. Like a wedding list, they can come in, and say what they need, what they’re saving towards and build-up their money so the costs are not so scary.”
She encouraged parents to visit saying there was a range of products on offer.
She said: “We would welcome any parents, or those expecting to come in, there’s no pressure when you’re browsing and see if there is something that you may be interested in.
“We’ll always try and get something in for our customers if needed.”
She added: “We work alongside Mamas & Papas who are a massive brand. If you find something on their website and we can get things from there into the shop if requested.
Since opening, she said it had been busy.
“It’s been amazing that local people have supported me. We have been very busy and have sold out a lot of things which we’ve now had to re-order so it’s been very good.
“It’s been interesting running a business as lockdown eases. There is still some trepidation for people to come out and about but I think things are getting easier and we’ve just been lucky that the two businesses that we’ve opened have been the right sort of businesses. We’ve had good feedback and good footfall through the door.”
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