Posted: 09.06.21 at 10:04 by Francesca Evans
Traders across Axminster are lining up to say a heartfelt thank you to the local community for rallying to support them as the town emerges from lockdown.
They are expressing their gratitude via dozens of great value deals that will be on offer during Totally Locally Axminster’s latest ‘Fiver Fest’, running for a fortnight from Saturday, June 12.
Offers for £5 range from sausages, bacon and eggs from butchers Complete Meats to 600 grams of sweets at the Sweet Shop.
Ric’s Kitchen has berry-infused iced tea and a sandwich, while the West Country Higgler will do you a cheese and onion takeaway toastie, and River Cottage Kitchen a jug of iced summer fruits Kombucha (fermented tea).
You can get your eyebrows shaped for £5 at Bolts Hair & Body, an apprentice blow dry at Melanie Brown Hairdressing, an apprentice haircut at the Rabbit Hole Barbershop, or a range of Aveda travel-sized products at Reflections.
There’s a range of jewellery at the Lou La Belle boutique, two pairs of earrings at the Courthouse Makers and two pot plants at Cloud Nine Florist.
Out of the town centre, you could take advantage of a special £5 ‘adopt an alpaca’ gift pack at Little Orchard Alpacas, in Shute, or two bottles of sparkling cider at the nearby Lyme Bay Winery.
The ‘Fiver Fest’ also embraces several of the town’s charity shops. Friends of Arc, Charity Togs and Hospiscare are each offering even better value than usual on specific clothing.
A total of over 40 businesses are taking part in the campaign to promote the 'shop local' message.
This will be Totally Locally Axminster’s third Fiver Fest over a two-year period, in which it has also run Christmas Trails, filled empty shop windows with positive posters and produced a new illustrative town map for shoppers and visitors.
The deals have been brought together by a small team, led by Barrie Hedges of the Archway Bookshop, and Jane Rockett of Axminster Printing.
“It has been an incredibly difficult couple of years for the independent traders who are the town’s bedrock,” said Barrie.
“Many are still reeling from the effects of the lockdowns, and some of our hospitality businesses in particular are struggling to find staff. But there is nonetheless a strong determination to support this latest initiative and to express gratitude for the loyalty we are all seeing.
"This is a town with a strong heart.”
Jane added: “Our central message to ‘spend an extra fiver locally’ is still valid but the reality is that people in Axminster are now happy to stay local, shop local and eat local.
"We don’t really need to deliver the loyalty message any longer because people have definitely got it!”
Totally Locally Axminster draws on the ideas and inspiration of the nationwide Totally Locally movement, which began in Yorkshire 11 years ago.
Axminster will be one of more than 100 towns taking part in this latest Fiver Fest.
“We know Fiver Fest isn’t going to change the world,” said Chris Sands, the founder of the national Totally Locally movement.
“But small changes in spending habits can really make a difference to our high streets. Just by diverting £5 of our weekly spend to local independents we give them a fighting chance to thrive.
"The pandemic has shown just what an amazing contribution they make to our local communities.”
A full list of deals on offer in Axminster is available from www.totallylocallyaxminster.co.uk, and there will also be a large poster in the Totally Locally Axminster window kindly made available by Axminster Property at Trinity House.
Shoppers wishing to take advantage of the deals simply need to specify ‘Fiver Fest’ at each business.