Cato & Sean Cooper’s opening party for The Emporium Somerset was packed with guests eager to see the transformation of the former auction rooms in Mantle St.
Nineteen craft and gift companies have taken stalls in the market hall area of the elegant Victorian building that was once a chapel.
“This is my first retail space,” said George Peters, who makes hand-made cards and quirky gifts at her studio on the Quantocks. “The whole atmosphere and style of the place is beautiful.”
“Wellington has so improved in the last few years and the Emporium is another terrific step along the way,” commented Blackdowns maker Nicola Werner, who has a stand displaying her handmade ceramics.
At the rear of the main retail space is a pop-up art gallery where three local painters were exhibiting – and selling – work.
Conservative election candidate Rebecca Pow was a guest, along with BBC Report West reporter Clinton Rogers. “What a great asset for the town this place is going to be,” said Rebecca, taking a break from six weeks of campaigning.
Cato has moved her painted furniture workshop and showroom from the shop next door into the front of the building, where the tearooms were until recently. “It’s been a huge effort but now I’m just thrilled with it,” she said, speaking from a very busy sales counter.