One of the North Yorkshire coast’s best-loved village shops has reopened with new tenants.
Sandsend Stores, the heartbeat of this tourism hotspot, is now called Mary’s Sandwich Shop and is run by brothers Gabe and Cameron Hill and their childhood friend, Jack Cooper, the team behind the local burger brand Mad Mary’s.
The team, from Whitby, have taken over the popular shop, which had been closed since March following the retirement of previous tenant Alex Miller.
The village shop, which dates back to the early 20th century, is owned by the Mulgrave Estate.
Robert Childerhouse, Mulgrave estate manager, commented: “We are delighted that the reopening and rebranding of the former Sandsend Stores has proved to be such a success. Cameron and Gabe’s vision for Mary’s Sandwich Shop is very much welcomed and supported by the Mulgrave Estate and the local community.
“The estate is proud to be offering new business opportunities to young, up-and-coming and professional entrepreneurs to help sustain a sustainable estate community. It’s so important that such a popular seaside resort like Sandsend has a thriving shop to service tourists and residents alike.”
“It is very rewarding to be able to offer this opportunity to Cameron and Gabe, enabling their dream to become a reality. I am sure they will be successful and we look forward to working with them for many years to come”.
Cameron commented: “We’ve been open about two weeks now and everything’s going really well. Even with the weather getting more autumnal, Sandsend is still looking beautiful. There’s been a lot of local support, seeing faces from when we were running the burger horsebox and meeting a whole lot of people that have just been passing through.
“It’s been great getting to know more people from Sandsend and holidaymakers saying they’ll be back anytime they’re in the area. We hope we’ve created somewhere relaxed and fun, where people can come whether they want a night out with friends or just a solo coffee by the seaside.
“We want it to be a space that can be what you want it to be. It’s just good to see people in and using the building after two months spent refurbishing the place, seeing all things we’ve made actually being used.”
Gabe added: “We got our 5* food hygiene rating, a great recognition of the work we put into updating the building and making it ready for the level of food prep and output we’re hoping to be making over the long term. It’s brilliant to now have the space and infrastructure to be able to play around with new recipes and experiment more than I could before in the horsebox.”
Jack Cooper, who has joined Cameron and Gabe as a partner, continued: “We’ve started really growing our drinks offering, with a rotating selection of great craft beers and a solid lineup of natural and organic wines that hopefully bring something new to the area. It’s great to have the freedom and the opportunity to be able to really curate a drinks’ offering that can go along with the food we built a reputation for before.
“We’re also steadily growing the shop offering, with more fresh fruit and veg, great sourdough from our bakers over at Koselig and a range of nice deli treats. Overall, it’s just good to be back cooking and making drinks for people again. The refurb was a fun bit of DIY but it’s great to be back to what we’re passionate about.”
Cameron added: “It feels like people are really enjoying what we’ve done with the place, the atmosphere we’re trying to create and how we’ve expanded beyond just the burgers. Everybody’s loving the new daytime sub menu, we’ve got some great coffee from our friends over at Dark Woods, outrageous pastries from our other friends at Koselig, local teas from the Whitby Tea company and so much other good stuff from so many other good suppliers. It’s all going well, with everyone at Mulgrave Estate being genuinely supportive as we’ve been settling in.”
Sandsend is an established and very popular tourism destination on the Yorkshire Coast. The sandy beach and its proximity to the historic port of Whitby and the North York Moors National Park makes the village the vibrant hub that it is.
Robert Childerhouse continued: “The Mulgrave Estate has exciting plans to enhance the village and its immediate surroundings with more retail opportunities over the next year. Mary’s Sandwich Shop is a crucial part of these plans.”
The most famous couple to run Sandsend stores were Dougie and Irene Raine, who started working there in 1965, before acquiring the lease of the business nine years later. They stayed there for 34 years. There’s every chance Cameron, Gabe and Jack will do the same.