Goodbye Local Roots

December 24, 2010

Local Roots
Christopher and Sukey opened Local Roots in East St Helen Street in May 2008. They gave us seasonal vegetable boxes, local art and craft, a kids club called Seedlings. They helped us think local. It was a friendly place to drink coffee and read the newspaper.

They are closing today, Christmas Eve, at 4pm, for the final time.

Their shop was inspirational. It is a great shame it has not worked out. They are just not able to carry on in the current economic climate. In two years time it might be quite different but they cannot take that risk.

Filed under: Business

18 Comments Leave a Comment

  • 1. Stephen Gray  |  December 24, 2010 at 9:46 am

    Whilst it is sad to see a business in Abingdon close, I’m afraid I could never work out quite what they were. The local veg in the early days was thin and their shop window had a mix of just about everything for sale. As a coffee shop it was never going to be big enough.

    I really don’t think Christopher and Sukey did enough research on how they were going to make a small unit financially viable.

    I always liked the bike outside the shop!

  • 2. Ishtar  |  December 24, 2010 at 10:08 am

    I’m sorry to see them go as they were always friendly and ready for a chat. Sadly, it was only on the very rare occasion that I could justify buying anything in there – it was all just a little too pricey.

  • 3. Peter  |  December 24, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    A lovely idea but alas its time has gone.

  • 4. lema  |  December 24, 2010 at 4:37 pm

    Abingdon will be so much the poorer for the loss of Local Roots. Christopher was always chatty and brought people together who wouldn’t have met each other otherwize. I shall really miss it.

  • 5. Carl  |  December 24, 2010 at 9:10 pm

    My wife, Kate, and I can’t begin to express how sad we are to hear that Local Roots is closing. L.R. and Chris and Sukey formed a warm and bright spot when we were in Abingdon during the summer of 2009. We wish them the very best in whatever they do. Fare thee well, friends!
    Carl & Kate
    Gainesville, Florida

  • 6. Donald  |  December 24, 2010 at 11:29 pm

    My friend offered to supply them with local handmade stuff but they refused as they already had fabric products from a lady in Thatcham. I can’t see why having more than one person supplying hand sewn things would be a problem – customers need and like choice. The stationers sells pens from different makers! You have to lean fast if you go it alone and they didn’t.

  • 7. trish  |  December 25, 2010 at 1:38 am

    I am also sorry to see it go, it will be missed on St Helen’s street, but I actually agree with Steven Gray, I could never really understand what they were up to. Was it a social club or a shop? I liked looking in the window and the bike outside but I only ever shopped there once when it first opened!
    Good luck to them in whatever they do next.

  • 8. Christmas reader  |  December 25, 2010 at 10:16 pm

    It’s a shame to see them go, but perhaps they should have taken a leaf out of Just Trading or Down to Earth in Wallingford, two shops that I regularly shop in…Abingdon will miss Local Roots, but hopefully the recent bad weather has proved to people that you can shop here and perhaps we will see another “local roots” style shop soon!

  • 9. Bob Lightsoot  |  December 25, 2010 at 10:19 pm

    Yeah great idea Donald – why not tie up as much money in similar stock as possible. A sure fire why to make some money there. :/

    Local Roots was always a bit too niche. It’s nothing to do with “the economic climate” cop out many would use. You can only make so much from a small unit selling veg and a few coffees’s going up against major competitors. Two coffee shops on the market place and Tesco always is a threat to locally run businesses. Even there so called unique “local” features can be found elsewhere. Veg at the farmers market, some art and craft in the large building towering right next to it, and coffee just about everywhere.

    Give it some time – I’m sure Rosie’s Tea Room will soon be found to be as equally as loss making.

  • 10. Donald  |  December 26, 2010 at 2:53 am

    Bob, the stock was not paid for up front by the owner but sold on behalf of the maker with a commission deducted. Variety is the spice of life.

  • 11. dave  |  December 26, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    Local Roots, thanks for daring to be different!

  • 12. doozer  |  December 26, 2010 at 8:09 pm

    Real shame that Chris and Local Roots are closing down. We spent a good while in there in their early days, drinking coffee, talking about all sorts of things. Until toddlers proved not to suit the shop layout! LR and Chris’ easy to talk to approach will be sorely missed. A flawed business plan, poor economic climate…who knows? I think unfortunately that Local Roots was actually slightly “before it’s time”. It belonged fairly and squarly in an Abingdon that ought to be, the Abingdon we should have…not the Abingdon as it is – or thinks it is. That’s my opinion… I wonder if ‘The Powers that be’ will be at all interested in why they are closing down – if there’s anything that they (the council…or whoever) could have done better – like an “exit interview”…I doubt it, but that I fear is part of the ongoing problem. If the decision makers continue to dwell on the good and fail to recognise let alone address the bad…then wonderful and interesting independents like Chris and LR will just continue to come and go. Shame really. Good luck Chris and family…wherever your adventures take you next. I for one am glad you showed us a glimpse of something that Abingdon could be aspiring to be.

  • 13. CW  |  December 29, 2010 at 7:12 pm

    Aw that’s so sad! I loved that shop – always so warming, fun, and the window display sooo interesting. Different to the norm – cos who wants to be a sheep!!!! I wish you both well in the after-localroots life.

  • 14. Julia Litt  |  January 21, 2011 at 5:03 pm

    I was scared to go in there in case I had to buy something! Muh too expensive and even if I did have the money a narrow veriety of stock. It did look beautiful though.

  • 15. OJ  |  July 26, 2011 at 8:56 pm

    the stock is sold on the behalf of local traders and aparently kept along with the money after closing the shop 7 months ago without informing said craft traders… No contact, no money and no response…

  • 16. Mike  |  September 21, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    Really good people, shame it’s gone as we bought some really nice presents for people from there as it was well made and different.

  • 17. Louise Green/Fizzy Frog Crafts  |  October 25, 2011 at 7:53 pm

    Personally I thought the venture was a really good idea as it was quite ‘rustic’ and reminded me of the kind of shops which might have been found in Abingdon 200 years ago. Theres just one thing that annoys me though.
    I myself sold some of my handmade greetings cards there a couple of years ago. Last Christmas, I took in some more even nicer cards, and was not informed that the business would soon be closing down and did not receive my products back/or the money if they had sold! I wouldnt mind so much but each one takes hours to make and I was working full time as well. Apart from that I thought Chris was really good at running the business.

  • 18. Jess Jones  |  June 3, 2018 at 9:26 pm

    Hi local roots was my parents shop and I grew up there with my big sis. I wish it had stayed open.

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