Launceston Life was glad to have University of Chichester student Alice Billing spend some time with us over a fortnight in March. During her work experience here, she caught up with some of Launceston's local businesses to see what it's like to run a business in our town!
By Alice Billing
Award winning local farm shop and restaurant Tre, Pol & Pen
Nestled just outside of Launceston, in the lavish landscape of the Tamar Valley, is a rustic style restaurant and a farm shop selling local handmade produce either at the farm or in the surrounding areas.
The team are consistently putting on events to encourage locals, such as regular themed murder mysteries, outdoor cinema screening, curry and quiz night and their Cornish Makers events held in May and July. However, the star event for this summer is their Sausage and Cider festival with a live performance from The Wurzels. Held on the 3rd June, the day promises to be filled with several types of local sausages and a variety of ciders, as well as a multitude of different stalls from around the county and surrounding areas. Although this is a free event, tickets are required for The Wurzels and are available on their website.
As well as holding a variety of events, the team at Tre, Pol & Pen have also been involved in selling their award-winning meat and deli products from the counters located in the farm shop, all of which is either from the farm itself, or from local farmers in the county. The team have also been working hard behind the scenes to create a new production kitchen, allowing them to sell more bakery products that have been made on the site.
However, their success could not have been achieved without the support of the close-knit local community which operations manager Charlie describes as ‘steadfast’ and ‘traditional’. He recommends that more locals and visitors alike should try their regular pizza afternoon, held on Fridays and Saturdays between 12pm and 3pm.
Giving back to the community at the Bug and Pin
Dubbed ‘the community spot’ of Lanson, The Bug and Pin tell us about their experiences.
Since the day they opened 7 years ago, Jon and Rachael have built their own community within their tattoo and piercing studio. Located on Chings Alley, Southgate Street – known locally as Artists Alley – the couple create custom tattoos, uniquely designed for each person as well as a variety of different piercings.
Before Covid began, the studio reception and the alley outside the studio was always filled with a queue of people waiting their turn, however when the lockdowns began just over 3 years ago it had a massive impact on all local businesses, but Rachael states that it was ‘the community that kept us afloat’. Whether it was messages of support financially or morally, the couple were inundated with community spirit and decided they needed to do something in return. They regularly checked in with their customers, sending messages and gift boxes to those having to isolate themselves. As a result of their kindness as well as their dedication to their work, since the end of the lockdowns the Bug and Pin studio has seen a waiting list of around 4 months, despite expanding their team and opening six days a week.
One client stated that Jon and Rachael had ‘set up a family community where you will always receive a warm welcome’. The studio has a positive and lively feel to it, with one of the team always being available for a quick catch up, creating a real sense of community in such a small space. Due to their own positive experiences of the community in Launceston, the couple aim to give back to the local area as much as they can - whether that’s donating prizes or art supplies to local schools or face masks and hand sanitiser to clients as well as businesses during the pandemic to help keep everyone safe. They also regularly use local businesses to aid the running of their own, ensuring they ‘shop local as much as possible’. Rachael describes Launceston as ‘a team where everyone is a cog in the wheel’.
The Bug and Pin have a few upcoming developments to the studio, including some new members to the team and giveaways for existing clients.
Facebook - The Bug and Pin
What's on at Jo Downs
The team at Jo Downs have been busy preparing their new summer ranges for 2023.
After 10 years at their workshop on Pennygillam, Jo Downs is still a thriving hub of activity. Due to its prime location just off the A30, the team regularly welcome repeat customers from around the country, but also receive commissions for custom pieces being delivered to countries such as Canada, Australia and even for cruise ships.
The team at Jo Downs also partake in a variety of events such as a stand at Royal Cornwall Show and the Cornwall Home and Garden Show located at the showground at the end of April.
As well as attending events, the team consistently aim to stay current with the contemporary market they compete in. In recent months, they released two new ranges, aptly named Cornish sunset and Indian Summer. As well as all their pieces being handmade and therefore completely unique, each one of their ranges is also inspired by our surrounding Cornish coastline and landscape making it particularly special. Many of the pieces feature a natural curve or pattern – giving them a natural form – and a range of pigmented colours to match your home or studio.
If you are interested in viewing or buying one of their pieces, you can find more information on their website https://jodowns.com/ or the shop at Pennygillam is open to visitors.
Plenty of goodies available at Let’s Get Naked Refill
Did you know you can do the majority of your shopping using just one local business?
Tucked away in the Market Arcade, the Let's Get Naked Refill shop is exploding with a variety of goods. Unlike many stores, Jade ensures that her shop, and the social media alongside it, has a hugely personal touch to connect it with the local community.
Since opening, Jade has continued to stock the shop full to the brim with a variety of goodies, including pasta, rice, cleaning products, a huge variety of spices and nuts as well as cupboard staples. More recently, Jade has introduced refillable yogurt, mini eggs and local ‘Nearly Home’ honey, which is often cheaper than other bigger stores that surround us – giving us even more reason to support local businesses.
Thanks to funding, Let’s Get Naked has also supported the community alongside The Orchard Centre to help those with a lower income by providing ‘make your own’ food parcels. These consist of a recyclable food bag with all the ingredients and spices you will need to make either spaghetti bolognese, curry or chilli con carne, as well as a recipe card to assist you through the cooking.
If using our local refill store is something you are interested in, but you can’t make it during their opening hours, Jade has introduced both a delivery and a late-night shopping service. These take place on the first Wednesday and Thursday of the month respectively.
Facebook – Let's Get Naked Refill Store
New business moves in!
New business Neverland offers all the piercings you can think of, as well as a large range of advanced cosmetic aesthetics.
Located on Broad Street, the Neverland studio is unmissable with its bright disco lights outside. Owner, Charlotte Paradine, is fascinated by the curious and extraordinary, often found collecting obscure antiques, eccentricities and oddities in her spare time. At the studio, Charlotte herself undertakes all piercings as well as any aesthetics you may like. She offers a variety of cosmetic procedures, including Vitamin B12 shots, wrinkle-relaxant treatments and her most popular, the ‘Lip Augmentation’. Charlotte says her goal is to ‘improve without overwhelming one's natural appearance’.
Although a relatively new business to Launceston, Charlotte has slotted in well with the rest of the town, commenting on how both her ‘new and existing customers have been wonderful’ as well as the other local business owners surrounding her who have offered support and advice. As a strong believer in cross-promoting businesses, she has begun working with local tattoo studio Black Flag to complement everyone's piercing and tattoo desires.
A recent addition to the studio is a post-piercing selfie booth, helping clients show off their new look and share with friends. Charlotte also hopes to expand her collection of body jewellery in the summer, allowing clients a broader range of choice.
Charlotte has transformed this empty space into a fun and quirky studio where clients can feel at ease knowing they are in the best possible hands.
If you are interested in any of the treatments or procedures that Charlotte offers, more information can be found on her Facebook page, Neverland Studio – Paradine's Aesthetics.