Two community businesses which which operate from a former Lynemouth village pub have secured major contracts with London department stores.
Despite their humble home in the Lynemouth Resource Centre, both Kenspeckle and WEAVE have defied the odds by building trading links with two of London’s best known department stores.
Kenspeckle workers are commissioned to supply Selfridges with chocolates and fudges, while WEAVE utilises the sewing skills of former ‘rag trade’ factory workers to create eye-catching uniforms for famous toy store Hamleys.
At WEAVE, Lynemouth’s Ann Kidd is experienced at making staff clothing in the style of toy soldiers, doll-like dresses and racing overalls for Hamleys branches across the UK, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Russia.
Chocolatier Dawn Watts helped set up the Kenspeckle business six years ago after working in the resource centre’s café.
The company now markets its homemade chocolates and fudges in local outlets and farmers’ markets, with one of its biggest sellers being ‘edible coal’ made from Cinder Toffee dipped in chocolate and sprinkled with sugary ‘coal dust’.
Bill Tarbit, Chairman of the Lynemouth Trust, said: “It is almost hard to believe that from such a small venture in a former mining village, we have built up trading links with two of the most famous names in world retailing and that is something that we are immensely proud of.
“What our links with Selfridges and Hamleys clearly demonstrate is the quality of our work and products we are achieving here at Lynemouth.”