Unusually fragrant whiff has come to historic market town

Stuart Clark has opened his new shop, Whiff of Wickham, in Wickham.
Picture: Ian Hargreaves (161277-2)
Stuart Clark has opened his new shop, Whiff of Wickham, in Wickham. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (161277-2)

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THERE’S been reports of a rather unusual smell wafting over Wickham – but don’t worry it’s a pleasant one.

New shop Whiff of Wickham has opened in the Warwick Lane shopping centre and is bringing a whole host of handcrafted smellies to the historic market town.

Some of the goods in Whiff of Wickham Picture Ian Hargreaves  (161277-9)

Some of the goods in Whiff of Wickham Picture Ian Hargreaves (161277-9)

The business is the brainchild of husband-and-wife team Stuart and Sarah-Jane Clark, from Southwick.

Stuart, 53, said: ‘We went to Covent Garden market one day and saw these decorations made of dried fruit.

‘My wife was then looking through a magazine and saw them again, so we thought we’d give making them a go. ‘We put two and two together and that’s how it all started.’

From a small venture in their kitchen six years ago, the business took off, with orders flooding in from friends and family, so they took their produce to craft markets.

But after growing tired of early starts and cold mornings, they decided to branch out and set up a permanent base.

Stuart, who used to work in media, said: ‘Markets are not really the best place to sell smellies, as moisture is their enemy.

‘It just happened that we saw a vacant shop in Warwick Lane, and being only a few minutes away from where we live, and we took it.

‘Warwick Lane is an interesting place to be. It can be a hive of activity and there are so many interesting places and clever people in here, like artists, and the antiques. Plus Wickham is always busy. It’s a traditional Hampshire village that people love visiting.’

The shop is selling produce from 13 different artisan makers, including soaps, bath bombs, creams, and much more, as well as Stuart and Sarah-Jayne’s handcrafted produce.

Stuart said he’s been bowled over by the response so far. ‘The reaction has been fantastic,’ he said. ‘Our next step is to start to make our own soaps and bath bombs.’

The shop is open from 10am until 4pm, Wednesday until Sunday. For more go to whiffofwickham.co.uk or search ‘Whiff of Wickham’ on Facebook.