INDEPENDENT retailers are flocking to open shops at the nearly completed Buttermarket Square in Poundbury.
By the end of the month there will be nine businesses in the square, just off Bridport Road, with another opening in a neighbouring road.
Since the Butter Market Bakery was opened in May, the new square has been a popular choice for shops wanting a ‘destination’ shopping area.
The square, which is due to be finished in March, was built by Morrish Builders and designed by famous architect Ben Pentreath.
Joint managing director Steven Morrish said that he is very proud of what has been accomplished.
He said: “There’s been a lot of interest in the square and we have been encouraged that people are liking the square – which was intended from the outset to be a mini Covent Garden.
“It is already an exciting and vibrant square and we are extremely proud.”
Sophie Eversden, manager of the Butter Market Bakery, based in the iconic Buttermarket building, said: “It’s great that more retailers are opening in the square and bringing it alive although it has been busy even in the building stages.”
One existing Poundbury business owner is moving her hairdressing business, Capelli of Poundbury, from Challacombe Square and plans to open on November 14.
Owner Jacqui Cheke said: “It is a really good opportunity for us and will be a busier and more vibrant area where we can grow the business.”
Next to her will be a new beauty salon called Allure, which is owned by first-time business owner Jordan Summers and opens on November 28.
She said: “It’s a really good location because people can park outside and come to the square for a variety of different shops.
“There is certainly a buzz about the square that I’m pleased to be part of.”
Another successful Poundbury store, Magpie, has also relocated from Wishay Street to the square and expanded by opening a second shop – Mini Magpie – offering children’s products.
Owner Stephanie Cooper said: “The square was the best place we could have moved to because all of the shops are able to feed each other.”
Opening their doors last month was Boo’s Toy Shop after expanding their business from an online store.
Owner Charlie Polley said: “It is going to be a great mix of independent stores that will compliment each other.
“The best thing is everyone is unique and this is going to be a really exciting place to be over the next year.”
The traditional toy store hit the news last week after Prince Charles walked into her store on one of his official royal visits and was given a toy for his grandson Prince George.
Also this week, the Dorchester town shop, The Gilded Teapot, announced it would be opening a second tea tasting parlour in Buttermarket Square on November 23.
The owner Jo Davies said: “We had been looking for the right place for over a year and I’m thrilled to say we’ve finally found it.”
Just a street away a new concept and lifestyle shop, Cherryade, will be opening its doors next week offering design led gifts.
Owner Ginny Stanley said: “I think this area is really becoming a destination area with lots of stores offering cool and quirky designs.”
Other businesses nearby also include award-winning Yard and Pauline’s Patchwork.