Grandad's Shed at 21: Our Story

It’s our Birthday!

On May 30th here in Pocklington, we are celebrating a very special birthday. It’s our 21st! Whilst we may have got our key to the door many years ago, we have been on such a journey with Grandad’s Shed over the years. From our modest first market stall in Brigg to our two-storey building in Pocklington, twenty-one years later and wow, here we are today, still going strong and loving every minute of it!

Join us this May as we mark our big birthday with events, special offers and lots more exciting things. Keep an eye on your inbox (sign up here) and our social media feeds for more information coming very soon.

So, grab a cuppa and take a trip down memory lane with us over our highlights along the way…

Where it all began

Way before our first customer bought a piece of solid-wood furniture from us, the seeds were sown for a successful career rooted in my life-long passion, interiors. I was a young teenager when I first got a taste of the wonderful world of interior design. Babysitting for a local couple, I was given the opportunity to decorate the room I would often stay in overnight to make it feel like home. I bought piles of fabrics which I turned into soft furnishings and experimented with colour schemes. It was a hard task to tear me away from home-style magazines which I devoured for ideas and inspiration.

The journey really begins

In 1998 Tony, who is a fantastic cabinet maker, set up his market stall all those years ago to gauge reaction to his products. We set up a market stall and braved the weather, borrowing mum and dad’s trailer to move the furniture around. A real family business. Within months of meeting each other and testing the water with Tony’s products for over a year, we began to look for a more permanent home - with a solid roof over our heads!

Here's a couple of photos from our first ever day of trading. We've come a long way!!

Setting up shop

We found a small shop in the marketplace to rent near the stall and Grandad’s Shed was born. But within a year the furniture range and interiors mix were proving so popular that when a larger premises came up for sale, we took the plunge.

It was a two storey property so Vicki designed the shop interior and a 20-seater restaurant. Here, customers not only enjoyed excellent coffee and food but could also buy anything in the shop, from the shelves on the walls to the seats customers were sitting on. We re-named it ‘Grandma's Pantry’ serving homemade foods and traditional cakes which sat well with our handmade furniture.

A shop revamp

In 2003, we rebranded the little cafe to The Loft which was expanded to 60 seats and we opened a licensed bar so we could cater for private functions.

Downstairs, the long narrow shop was divided into sections and featured different styles of furniture set in rooms all complimented by interior accessories such as artwork, lighting, textiles and pottery. Grandad’s Shed was now winning exclusive interior brands, sourcing unique home interior accessories. We also regularly visited trade shows and events to keep ahead of trends to guide our customers in the best way possible. This is something that we continue to do today as we really believe it is an invaluable trip.

Our services developed as we found ourselves visiting more homes and advising on bespoke, made to measure furniture. Other services such as upholstery were added to the mix and we began to work with antique furniture pieces, breathing fresh new life into them. With the growing business, the team was built up with local employed craftsmen who commission our designs for kitchens, bedrooms and study. We also expanded our warehousing facilities to take larger deliveries from Artic lorries and built workshops and spray booths to provide more services for more customers.

Some exciting projects from over the years

Over the years, the commercial side of our business grew and we were able to help local businesses with design suggestions. One such highlight was helping create a calming reception area in the local hospital’s cancer ward.

In 2005 we were runner up in the North Lincs Business Awards for fastest growing business thanks to projects such as furnishing and designing a local Garden centre cafe and redesigning an American themed pub by sourcing all furniture and western accessories. We were also involved in a new homes property development during which we completely refurbished showhome and supplied full house refurbishments. Things were getting busy!

Relocating to Yorkshire

Paul and Beryl Keane (my brother and his wife), took over the Brigg store so we could expand the business into the Yorkshire area where Tony was born and raised in Everingham. He recalls spending many happy hours as a child watching his Grandad pottering around in his shed – hence the name of the business! You know what they say about things coming full circle…

We launched the small second shop in Market Weighton where we resided for two years before expanding into our current location in the heart of Pocklington, where the spacious two story shop showcases a selection of our handmade pieces and favourite decorative accessories. We’ve gradually built up our reputation here in Yorkshire through strong relationships and long-standing friendships with people who share our aims and values. We want to give the best service and the best products we can with a shared celebration of all things country. We absolutely love our beautiful countryside and our passion for British wildlife and rural landscapes can be seen in our products.

Going digital and expanding the team

Building our team in Pocklington saw the addition of Sophie who has a big passion for furniture design and a degree in textiles. Soph has been crucial in managing the shop whilst I find myself visiting more homes, commercial buildings and working with a number of property developers.

In 2017 we began working on re-launching our website and putting more effort into our social media. We enlisted the help of Ellie who created our website with our developing business in mind. She has continued to help us with our social media and photography into 2019.

We continued to grow and develop our business by introducing new fabrics and textiles for making curtains and blinds. Today we have a full-time curtain and blind maker so we are able to take on numerous projects throughout the year. Additionally, we have 3 time-serviced upholsterers and 5 individually specialised cabinet makers, overseen by Tony who personally restores specialised antique pieces.


Today & Beyond

As it becomes more and more difficult for retail businesses on the high street, we have had to adapt to be unique and niche. All our furniture is made to last which is something you cannot buy from the big chains on the internet.

In the current economic climate of fast food and fast fashion, buying now and replacing tomorrow, we create pieces that stand the test of time in style and quality. After all, throwaway culture not only makes it harder to cherish memories – (that MDF bookcase is less likely to stay with you as the years go by) – but it’s unkind on the planet. Our commitment to creating furniture pieces to last a lifetime isn’t solely about timeless design that you’ll want to pass down through the generations, it’s about responsible, planet-conscious design using sustainable sources timbers from managed forests or upcycling tired furniture pieces to suit a modern home. We make collections that will last a lifetime, in every sense.

We continue to work with individual and commercial properties, having recently transformed five-holiday lets in the heart of York and offering a guiding hand to help make family homes perfect for you.

Thank you

Wow, what a journey we have been on together. Twenty-one years after that first market stall and we are still as passionate as ever to help you create a beautiful home you can be really proud of. One thing certainly hasn’t changed and that is our passion for helping our community and customers with high-quality service which we believe has been the key to our long-term success in these changing times.

We can’t thank our lovely customers and friends enough for your support as we reach this milestone birthday.

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