Smithers of Stamford in Broad Street reopens to include arcade, gelato and café
A contrasting trio of retro arcade games, Italian gelato and fresh coffee are drawing people into a quirky town centre antiques shop.
Nick Smith opened Smithers of Stamford in Broad Street in 2019 to sell an eclectic mix of furniture and retro antiques.
Keen to appeal to more people he has now transformed the business to include a coffee and milkshakes and arcade games.
Drawing inspiration from London businesses he has visited, a new barista coffee machine now gives customers the chance to buy a cuppa while they browse.
“After covid a lot of companies have diversified to make more money,” said Nick, who lives in Etton.
“This will give customers the chance to sit down, take in all the designs we have got and allow us to talk to them and show them our website.”
Nick is also bringing in a taste of Italy with a gelato stand jam-packed with traditional flavours.
After spending a lot of time taste testing he settled on honeycomb, rum and raisin, white chocolate and raspberry- Nick’s favourite - cherry ripple, salted caramel, mint chocolate, cookies and cream, and bubblegum.
“People love ice cream. There’s a lot of Cornish but not much Italian ice cream in town,” he said, adding that he believes gelato, which contains more milk and less cream, tastes nicer.
A corner of the shop gives a trip back to the past with a selection of old arcade games.
A retro pinball machine from Nick’s personal collection takes centre stage alongside an original Space Invaders game and boxing machine.
As well as entertaining children while their parents browse the shop, Nick hopes it will be something fun to do for young people in the town.
“I think it’s nice for younger children to hang about somewhere - there’s not many places for them,” said the 52-year-old.
He added that many of the children haven’t seen the machines before whereas adults compare the space to a ‘museum’.
Not just for fun, the machines provide marketing as Nick has already been asked to procure a pinball machine for a customer.
“It fits in with my theme of antiques and retro items,” he said.
“I have always wanted to do this.”
Nick, who has a team of four, officially reopened Smithers of Stamford on Saturday (August 5) after transforming the space.
It is part of his plan to diversify the business after covid as, in his opinion, ‘people aren’t spending as much online and are more careful with their money’.
Antiques, furniture and quirky retro gifts, many of which were formerly on display in the Broad Street shop, continue to be available on the Smithers of Stamford website.
He said: “It is early days but the people who have come in are shocked.
“There’s no other business like it where you can buy gifts, grab a coffee or ice cream and play a game.”