Namaste – A Taste of India and Sweet Memories are the newest businesses to relocate to North Shields based Royal Quays Independent and Outlet Centre after leaving their previous premises in Whitley Bay and Stockton respectively.
Outlet centre manager Matt Dawson said: “We’ve actively encouraged smaller independent businesses to join the Royal Quays family and since we started this policy, we’ve gone from having 17 empty units 18 months ago to having only four now. The whole feel of the outlet has changed, and the public seem to like the blend of big stores and small local traders like Namaste and Sweet Memories.
“We’ve now got a fantastic collection of different businesses here and it’s a real family destination rather than just somewhere to shop. You can come here to eat, drink, play games in our Retro Arcade and you can even take part in dance classes. All of these things give the centre a character that it’s never had before and I’m glad to say that footfall is increasing.”
Namaste – a Taste of India is run by Sangeeta Chopra. Originally her business was based on selling Indian food, spices, and ingredients together with home-cooked food but the opportunity to move into larger premises has enabled her to diversify into Indian based jewellery and fashion.
“I’ve now got the space and location to provide a one stop shop for people who want clothes from designer dresses and outfits to simple bangles and jewellery items. My home cooked food is still very popular, and I have customers travelling miles to buy their favourite dishes and ingredients. Moving to Royal Quays has been great for business,” she said.
Meanwhile, Sweet Memories supplies old fashioned confectionery including jelly babies, liquorice, and traditional boiled sweets. The business also supplies sweets and chocolate for corporate events.
Also new to Royal Quays is an independent toy shop which specialises in collectable figures and a gadget shop. It adds to the existing tally of independent shops that includes Garden World, Hauticulture and Quay Furniture.
“We are very keen to attract more local independents to the centre and we are seeing things move at a very fast pace. We’ve only four units available and we’re getting great feedback from the public about how the centre has changed for the better. It really is an exciting time to be part of the Royal Quays family,” said Dawson.