Health shop to create new jobs

Freeport retail outlet
Freeport retail outlet

A national health food chain has opened a new store in Fleetwood, creating four jobs for the town.

The Grape Tree is the latest addition at the port’s Freeport outlet centre, on Anchorage Road.

The store, which sells dried fruits, seeds and home baking products, alongside a range of old-fashioned sweets and confectionary, is part of a rapidly expanding chain.

The Grape Tree was founded 18 months ago, and bosses say they are on course to open their 50th store by the end of the year.

Centre manager John Magee said: “We are delighted to be welcoming the Grape Tree brand and team to Freeport Fleetwood.

“The distinctive brand and Grape Tree products will further strengthen our brand offering in the centre.”

The Grape Tree was founded by Nick Shutts, the man behind the collapsed health food chain Julian Graves.

At its peak, the company had 350 stores across the UK before it collapsed in July 2012, and all 189 remaining stores were shut.

Mr Shutts said: “It’s great to be back. Many of our old team have come together again and it is exhilarating to be back in business.

“Given our experience in the past, and the reaction we are getting to the new stores, we are convinced that we are meeting a real gap in the market.”

Bosses say the Fleetwood Freeport store will be offering 79 different dried fruit products, 84 different ways of buying nuts, 40 different mixes and 17 seed products.