Christmas may have come and gone for another year, but with Copeland’s traders on-hand to offer an endless range of unique goods, community care can easily continue.

Week 22 of the award-winning Shop Local: Keep it in Copeland campaign, proudly led by Copeland Borough Council, offers opportunity-galore to hunt down special treats and top essentials.

And diving into one of Whitehaven’s most interesting stores is a dream for both locals and international celebrities alike, with Richardson’s of Whitehaven boasting every beverage your heart could desire – especially if you’re a port fan.

“When we started the business, we wanted to be as unique as possible, and stand out from the supermarkets,” owner Gerard Richardson said.

“We originally started off as a wine merchants, but then we started to roast our own coffee beans and offer other drinks, and now we specialise in ports – we have some dating back to the ‘50s.”

With such a wide range of products on offer, including flavoured coffee beans roasted daily by the team, it’s no surprise Richardson’s of Whitehaven’s hampers are a popular choice at Christmas – but it’s the support that comes after the festive season that means the most.

Gerard said: “At Christmas time we do a huge amount of hampers, but things can get a bit quiet after that and we slip under the radar.

“We’re absolutely delighted when people come in and support us – this has been our modus operandi for 25 years, and we’ve always promoted not just our own shop but the whole town.

“When lockdown ended, and especially when the Shop Local campaign was launched, it was heaven for us, because it reminded people that if they want to save the planet, you have to start with your own town.”

He continued: “I think about 600 local people are employed by independent shops within Whitehaven alone, which shows just how important it is to keep high street shops going.

“If you can shop locally, then shop locally, and if it costs a couple of pound more to do so, so what?

“You’re keeping local people employed, and that’s such an amazing thing.”

And after 25 years with his doors open wide, Gerard is still thankful for each and every customer.

He said: “We have survived the worst year anyone could imagine, and that’s down to everyone who visited the shop.

“There’s been so much support recently, and I would just love to see it continue every single week and month to keep the high street and the town alive.”

With your luxury items covered up in Whitehaven, Haverigg has the top place around for your essentials – thanks to Paul and Rebecca Oliver.

The owners of Londis convenience store, on Main Street, first stepped into the role in March 2019.

And despite the pandemic hitting just one year later, the couple have managed to thrive, and keep their community happy throughout the challenging time.

"We've been in a really fortunate position because we didn't have to close, so we got a lot of people coming to us, and they've stuck with us since," co-owner Paul said.

"It means a lot when people shop with us and try to shop locally, and everyone seems to prefer shopping with independent shops now just because they're smaller and a bit easier to get around, and it's nice to see."

On top of essentials, the shop also offers greeting cards, gifts for Christmas, pizza boxes of sweets, and even turkey orders for those who struggle to get into Millom for more niche items.

Paul said: "From our point of view, people coming to us is so important because we're the only shop in Haverigg.

"Those who can't drive would have to get a taxi to Millom to get their shopping if we weren't here, and without people shopping with us, we wouldn't be here anymore."

He added: "We'd like to just say thank you to our customers, and hopefully this great support continues – all we can do is keep trying our best and hope people keep coming back!"