Dale artisans celebrate two years at Middleton-in-Teesdale base
By Martin Paul - Senior Reporter
AN upper dale craft co-operative is celebrating two successful years of trading this month.
Fresh Craft and Interiors, in Middleton-in-Teesdale, which opened its doors on March 18, 2017, with items from about a dozen creatives has since grown to include about 20 artisans selling their handmade items.
The shop was the brain-child of village resident Jane Addison.
She said: “I used to run the craft and collectors fair at the Masonic [Hall] but I have trouble with my spine moving the furniture.
“I knew there was this space available so I asked Chris and Phil [owners of Cafe Fresh, in Horsemarket] and they were very helpful and supportive to give the crafters a new home.”
Now the shop boasts a wide selection of goods ranging from homemade edibles like honey, jams and chutney to artwork, jewellery, cushions, and greetings cards.
A recent addition is self-styled fairy house estate agent Clare Jones who produces miniature fantasy homes and cottages.
Ms Addison said: “These are all one-off and individual.”
People who visit the shop this month can enjoy a wedding exhibition featuring marital gifts and stationary hand made by local crafters.
It also boasts a collection of historic wedding photographs from the dale that were provided by the nearby Fitzhugh Library.
Ms Addison said many visitors were surprised by the quality and types of items on sale at the exhibition.
Regarding the success of the co-operative she added: “Sales are up. We crashed a bit in October, everyone did, but we are doing well.”
Ms Addison paid tribute to her daughter Joanna who had offered her and the shop help and support during the past two years.