A popular Stafford business reopened at the weekend for the first time since March.
The Guildhall Gallery on Mill Street opened its doors to the public again on Saturday, September 5, with a few changes to ensure they comply with government regulations.
Owners Anna Everett and Gilly Davies first set up the business in August 2017 after meeting at university and realising there was nowhere for emerging artists to showcase their work.
The pair first started Guildhall Gallery as a pop up shop within the Guildhall Shopping Centre. They ran the pop up five times before launching a permanent shop almost two years ago.
True to their vision, the shop showcases the wares of fine artists, ceramicists and jewellery makers as well as featuring many interior items, prints, gifts and greeting cards from Staffordshire and beyond.
Along with their coffee shop, it’s become a destination for unique artworks, gifts and quirky greeting cards in Stafford town centre. For now though, drinks and cake will only be available as a takeaway.
Anna said: “We are delighted to be reopening our doors and have been looking forward to welcoming you back to our little gallery.
“Changes have been afoot and our business is Covid secure and ready for your visit. We will be bringing you the best array of art, gifts and greeting cards that we can find from across the county of Staffordshire.
“Our locally roasted coffee and delicious cakes will be available for you to take away and enjoy outdoors or at home and we have hand sanitizer available for you to use on entry and exit. We also kindly ask that you wear a face covering during your visit.
“We have reconfigured the layout of the premises to accommodate wheelchairs and buggies and most importantly, to enable good social distancing.
“It’ll be new to you and new to us, but we can’t wait to catch up with you and see you at the Gallery soon.”
Gilly added: “Like many other small businesses, we were devastated to learn that we had to close and we were particularly worried about the wellbeing of our loyal customers, many of whom enjoyed socialising in our café. Since reopening though, we are pleased to say that we have caught up with many of them and that our little corner of Stafford appears to be thriving.
“The break gave us a chance to reflect on the gallery’s general health and to find a safe way to move forward confidently. We’ve decided to open the gallery side of the business initially with a view to building back up to reopening the coffee shop and resurrecting the workshop schedule at a later date.
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“We’re ‘going with the flow’ and doing our best safely during an extraordinary time.
“We missed our customers and our artist suppliers so much; the lockdown showed us just how much we enjoyed the community associated with our art gallery and coffee shop.”
The Guildhall Gallery is now open hours Tuesday to Saturday, 10am–2pm.