AN ARUNDEL store is broadening its horizons with a new cafe, bar and kitchen.
Married couple Holly and Andy Heggadon opened Sparks Yard in 2003, which specialises in contemporary gifts, homeware and cookware.
But the entrepreneurial duo are in the midst of transforming the whole top floor of the Grade II listed Victorian building into The Loft; a 2,000 square-foot cafe, bar, kitchen.
The idea to expand their business and open a kitchen has been in the pipeline for some time.
“We love gorgeous homeware, furnishings and gifts and we love eating out,” said Holly.
“It was the missing link. We had to explore other avenues of course, to make sure we were making the right decision, but in our heart of hearts we knew what we really wanted to do.”
Andy said: “We looked at going into clothing retail, vintage furniture but as we are both massive foodies, as are many of our customers who come to Sparks Yard, it was a no-brainer that we expanded into food.
“We didn’t actually have the space as the top floor in the Sparks Yard building was used as an architecture practice. When it finally became available we were able to put our dreams into reality.”
After much planning, pitching and presenting of ideas to investors and bankers the business model was formed and the real hard work started.
“West Sussex County Council have been very positive, and the support of the local people of Arundel and our existing customer base has been very encouraging,” said Andy.
The pair said they had to do a Dragons’ Den-style presentation to a panel of councillors to get the Be The Business Grant from West Sussex County Council to help with the renovation costs.
The grant of up to £30,000 is to help small local businesses expand and is exclusive to West Sussex.
“We feel really honoured to receive the grant,” said Andy. “The council liked the fact that the money was well invested in a small local business.
“Expanding Sparks Yard helps create jobs and increases awareness of the local area.”
The shop remains open while the renovations take place, and The Loft is expected to open this month.