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The heroes of Sudbury high street

PUBLISHED: 01:16 20 July 2012 | UPDATED: 21:38 20 February 2013

The heroes of Sudbury high street

The heroes of Sudbury high street

Sudbury has some real hidden gems, from specialist food shops and beautiful interior outlets, to a family-run department store. Charlotte Smith-Jarvis delves deeper...

Sudbury has some real hidden gems, from specialist food shops and beautiful interior outlets, to a family-run department store. Charlotte Smith-Jarvis delves deeper


A visit to Sudbury simply isnt complete without a trip to family-run department store Winch & Blatch, which has four shops with 11 departments spanning the town from menswear to a main home store, a kitchen store and the Fashion Gallery.

The individual cupcake carriers in the kitchen shop ideal for work or lunchboxes.

Union Jack tights in the main homestore from Gypsy.

Kirsty Allsopp bedding.

Designer placemats including a set that fits together to form two dachshund dogs.

Winch & Blatch, 29 Market Hill, Sudbury. Tel: 01787 373737


Juniper Flowers opened in the town last August and has been well-received by local people because of its somewhat quirky and unusual offerings, says Hazel Hearn, who works in the shop.

As well as taking orders for special occasion flowers, from weddings and christenings to Valentines Day, the florist can seek out dyed flowers (roses and carnations for example) and search for specific varieties.

Owner Anne has built-up a large collection of vintage-style pots, vases, tea-cups, urns and more, meaning she can pull together the fantastic traditional arrangements that are so in fashion at the moment particularly for weddings. And there are also pieces of vintage on sale in the shop such as dinky chairs and cake covers.

Upstairs, Juniper Flowers offers its customers the chance to get creative too in workshops spanning everything from lampshade making, to teacup candles, crochet, patchworking and felting.

Juniper Flowers,
78-79 North Street, Sudbury.
Tel: 01787 310022


Sudbury character (and self-proclaimed eccentric) David Thompson has lived in the town for more than 50 years, and has entrepreneurial skills that have seen him at the helm of all manner of businesses.

His interests to date have included a darts and billards shop, pizza bar, restaurant and movie store which, amazingly, 30 years later still remains in the town.

Having moved away from the food industry for a while (David trained as chef) he started growing and created Country Salads quite literally from 10, building a 1.7million company supplying salads and fine foods to some of the countys top restaurants in just seven years.

Travelling around Europe sourcing the crme de la crme of ingredients, Davids passion for food grew, and when his son Dan tragically died and the keys to his bar were handed to David in 2008, he knew what he had to do.And so Thompsons was born, with a thriving bistro and bar (the best steaks in Suffolk according to Tripadvisor reviews)
and deli taking shape.

Everything at the deli has been chosen very carefully. There is cheese but mostly only French cheese. "Why buy cheddar when I can bring back a beautiful Cantal from Paris for half the price?" he says.

There are olives marinated in store, Suffolk ham carved off the bone in front of you for one of the best ham sandwiches in the county, Tomes Savoir cheese, which David fetes for its hint of mushroom flavour, San Danielle ham from Trieste and unusual Cicina Leon a smoky woody, light cured beef from the Galicia region of Spain.

Other treats unique to the deli include Swiss wine plus jams and chutneys made especially for David by Cupboard Love.

Whats clear is that Thompsons is not a job for David, it is a part of him and he shows no signs of itchy feet. Only recently he went on a barista course to learn to professionally serve up his range of Kimba coffee.

Thompsons, 51-52 Gainsborough Street, Sudbury. Tel: 01787 375752


Rafis Spicebox has been a mainstay in Sudbury for 24 years now. Rafi Fernandez, a respected Indian cookery writer with around 12 books under her belt, brought to the town a real taste of India, and ingredients and flavours that the people of the town had not experienced up until then.

Central to the success of the Spicebox, now being managed by Rafis stepson Chris Garnett, are the curry packs, which are like culinary theatre.

Choose a curry from the list popular ones are jalfrezi and korma, and watch Chris fill a box with crispy fried onions, Rafis own recipe pastes and a blend of spices, herbs and freshly snipped chillies.

At home add water, vegetables and fish or meat and allow to simmer for that authentic, home-cooked Indian taste that beats the taste of any traditional takeaway.

Alongside the curry packs are everything you could possibly need for a curry night. There are naan breads, parathas, dosa mixes and rice.

Pickles and chutneys are a big part of Indian food and youll discover some fantastic options here such a chilli, banana or carrot pickle, and products made by Ferns in Rafis hometown of Pune.

Pop in and try Chris favourite curries. Theres the yellow Thai (which has a complex flavour) and Mas Paretal, which is based on Rafis mother-in-laws recipe.

You should also visit the businesss website which was voted the third best in the country by The Independent, just behind food networking giant Chowhound.

Rafis Spicebox, 77 North Street, Sudbury.
Tel: 01787 881992


Linda Lowen brought her home store AG Lifestyle to Sudbury nearly two years ago and is steadily building-up a loyal clientele who love her personally-selected goodies for the home and garden.

"I dont buy anything I dont like and its wonderful that our customers like everything too," says Linda, who has a penchant for the vintage look.

The shop is beautifully arranged and it takes a good while to ponder everything, from the hand-painted furniture (much of it sourced from France), to the cut glass cake stands, notelets, vases, wall hangings and jewellery.

Pop in and youll find hundreds of goodies to keep or give away as gifts. Among the many items that caught my eye were tiny boxed soaps from Holland carved into the shapes of mice, horses and ducks, decorative fabric birds and parrots and fun scarf prints from Hot Tomato.

There is also a caf area in the shop where you can now enjoy scrummy homemade cakes, from a slice of fruit loaf to zingy lemon sponge drizzled with that perfect amalgamation of juice and caster sugar.

Something that has really taken off at AG Lifestyle are the painting workshops, where for 98 for a day customers can bring along a small piece of furniture and learn how to breathe new life into it. The day includes all materials and refreshments. Julys session is already fully booked, but there may still be places on the August 20 and 21 workshops, with further sessions to follow in September.

AG Lifestyle, 36-38 Station Road, Sudbury.
Tel: 01787 312126


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