Choppy times for Serenity

MBTC-13-12-13- Serenity Gift shop Kempston.

Emily Thevenin.

MBTC-13-12-13- Serenity Gift shop Kempston. b13-1058 Emily Thevenin.

A shop that sells unique gifts and fruit and veg has said it is still open for business despite a number of nearby outlets closing down.

Serenity, based at Springfield Shopping Centre, off Orchard Road, Kempston sells unique gifts, including bath bombs, baby clothes, and recently fruit and veg, has been open since July.

But owner Emily Thevenin says the shop will struggle to survive if they do not see more custom in the store.

She said: “Business has been doing okay since we opened but we are struggling. We started off doing small trinket-type gifts, but now we also sell fruit and veg and a small selection of baby knitwear.

“We’re are just trying to introduce as much as we can so we can appeal to more people. We are also looking at bringing in a tea corner where people will be able to make their own crafts.”

Since Serenity opened in the summer Emily says she has seen the majority of the shops that were there close down, and feel that people are not going to the area because they think there are no businesses at the centre.

The 18-year-old added: “We were looking at moving in here or a shop on the High Street, but we were told that all of the units here will be occupied so we decided to open here.

“But since then the shop next door that was a cafe closed. It then opened as a baby equipment shop for about 10 days but then closed again.

“We are still waiting for a kebab shop across the road to open. There’s a hairdressers that is open but that’s really about it.

“It’s a shame because I think if there were other businesses here it would mean we could all work together and people would be more likely to visit because there will be more of a choice.”

She added: “We just want to let people know we are still open and come and visit us, because if things don’t improve then we’re not going to be here for long.”

Kempston town mayor Carl Meader admitted that there is still more work that needs to be done, but says there are still a lot of businesses at the centre.

He said: “I will be the first to admit the design of the centre is not the most pleasing on the eye. It is a 1960s/70’s design and it is a bit outdated.

“But we are trying to improve it, it is an ongoing thing. I would count Serenity as a success story, I have had great feedback about them.”




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