Mary visited Coxhoe on Wednesday 11th August, where she met with local small business owners on the high street.

This visit comes as part of Mary’s continued presence in the constituency over the course of the summer recess which has so far seen her visit multiple businesses, projects, and community groups in every corner of the constituency with more to come before Parliament resumes later in September.

The first stop on Coxhoe high street was at Adore where Mary had a conversation with owner Alison about how she realised her dream of opening a business. Alison and Mary also spoke at length about the ways in which the Coxhoe community had rallied round one another throughout the pandemic and how a real sense of community had been fostered among the businesses in the local area.

If you want to buy anything from Alison’s collection, click here.

Mary and Adore shop owner, Alison in Coxhoe
Mary and Adore shop owner, Alison in Coxhoe

Mary then visited Party Forever where she had an emotional discussion with Julie whose son, Ben, owns the business. Julie told Mary the extent to which the pandemic had damaged businesses that work in the hospitality sector. It is clear that adequate support was perhaps lacking for some of these businesses. However, it was good to learn that as a result of the restrictions changing, Julie and Ben have been inundated with requests to provide for the many weddings taking place at the moment.

Mary even got to try on some of the fancy dress stock that Party Forever have on offer! If you want to book a party now that restrictions are eased, or even buy some fancy dress (why not?) follow Party Forever here.

Mary (left) and Julie from Party Forever try on some fancy dress at the shop in Coxhoe
Mary (left) and Julie from Party Forever try on some fancy dress at the shop in Coxhoe

Then, Mary visited Wing and a Prayer, a local business that expanded over the course of the pandemic. Wing and a Prayer offers a fantastic selection of local produce made by makers from around the region. Mary was incredibly impressed with the way in which the shop moved into an old, unused building and renovated it to expand the business. It’s the perfect selection of artisan gifts and Mary will definitely be back to source gifts at Christmas time! While visiting the shop, Mary spoke to owner Lisa and Sarah who works at the shop. Lisa was delighted to tell Mary that Wing and a Prayer was named as Small Business of the Year 2020 in a national awards scheme. It’s no surprise why either!

If you want to source locally made artisan gifts, check out Wing and a Prayer here.

Mary with Sarah (centre) and Lisa (right) at Wing and a Prayer in Coxhoe
Mary with Sarah (centre) and Lisa (right) at Wing and a Prayer in Coxhoe

The last stop in Coxhoe was to the much-talked-about La Chocolatrice, which produces wonderful chocolate bars – including a bar created by a local resident which celebrates the history of Coxhoe, aptly named the Choxhoe Bar.

They also do chocolate making workshops which Mary is excited to try at some point in the near future – watch this space for news on Mary’s Marvellous Chocolate Factory.

If you want to order from La Chocolatrice, click here!

Mary checking out the chocolate on offer in La Chocolatrice
Mary checking out the chocolate on offer in La Chocolatrice
Mary outside La Chocolatrice in Coxhoe
Mary outside La Chocolatrice in Coxhoe
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