Why you should visit Minshull Street, Knutsford

PUBLISHED: 11:28 15 August 2019

The view from Minshull Street

The view from Minshull Street


We meet the business owners who make this elegant, unassuming side street a must-shop destination.

Oliver Clixby-Smith at Project 53Oliver Clixby-Smith at Project 53

Oliver Clixby-Smith

Manager of bar Project 53

Because this bar is a taproom for Mobberley Brew house, I get to taste the local craft beers we stock. It's definitely a perk and means I can make genuine recommendations to customers. The thing I've always loved about working in hospitality is the people you meet. So, although the busy weekends are great, I enjoy working the weekdays when it's a bit quieter. We have one customer who comes in everyday, orders a different cider and tells you a new story - each one is as funny and random as the last.

Wendy Diddums of Wendy Diddums opticiansWendy Diddums of Wendy Diddums opticians

Wendy Diddums

Owner of Wendy Diddums Opticians

I've always had a fascination with paediatric optometry which is why I offer such a large range of children's eyewear. I go out to Africa every year with Vision Aid Overseas, giving eye tests to children and find them the right glasses. You can change a child's life forever when you give them their vision back. I have a customer who is from Malawi originally and this year we're going out there together to build schools for his charitable foundation, Kasupe. I'm really looking forward to it, I love to travel and giving back so it's a perfect combination.

Tiffany Thomas owner of Hoity Toity ShoesTiffany Thomas owner of Hoity Toity Shoes

Tiffany Thomas

Owner of Hoity Toity Shoes

We specialise in stocking designer shoe brands, many of which you often don't find outside of London. We've worked hard to build up that reputation so people know they will find something really gorgeous and individual when they come here. Another big draw? That'd be Oscar, our Schnauzer and store mascot. He was with us in our first store in Tarporley and he'll let customers cuddle him all day. People expect to see him. We just need to train him to fetch the shoes now.

Phillip ArmstrongPhillip Armstrong

Philip Armstrong

Designer and co-owner of fashion label Philip Armstrong

I went to fashion college after I left school and it's where I met my partner, Tony. We're both obsessed with the latest looks and trends and we never switch off from our work. We're constantly inspired by our travels, conversations, even fabrics. It was our love of fashion that brought us together and I'm incredibly lucky to work with my partner. He's my best friend and this year we've been together for 27 years. Opening our store here in Knutsford earlier this year was another chapter in our journey together.

Suzanne Wild at Verity PlumSuzanne Wild at Verity Plum

Suzanne Wild

Owner of plus-size boutique Verity Plum

To me, my customers are everything. Plus-size women deserve to feel just as beautiful as everybody else. They should feel confident to wear bright colours and the latest trends. I form such a close knit bond with them because I'm honest and tell them what suits them and what doesn't. Just the other day one of my favourite customers popped in and brought me a selection of olives and nuts for no particular reason. It's lovely. I care about my customers and they care about me.

Nigel Gartside of Carrot Banana PeachNigel Gartside of Carrot Banana Peach

Nigel Gartside,

Owner of Carrot Banana Peach, yoga wear and studio

In 2000, I suffered a rugby injury and I took up yoga to help me heal. Before that I'd been a product designer for Nike but I'd seen the demand for natural and sustainable materials so set up on my own. All of that combined to result in Carrot Banana Peach - sustainable yoga clothing. I travel the world learning about design and take my five-year-old daughter with me when I can. It's amazing to see the world through her eyes. She's even trying to learn yoga - or she's just making fun of me.

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