Tunbridge Wells Borough Council’s ‘Say Hi to your High Street’ campaign returns to Southborough this weekend as they become the third of the four borough high streets to host a treasure hunt.

Residents and visitors are invited to visit the local businesses in Southborough to find hidden clues.

When you have found all of them, you can enter to win a great selection of prizes, from vouchers that can be spent at local stores, to gifts and products hand-selected by the shop owners.

In Southborough this weekend, you could win the perfect family summer bundle, with a bird feeder from Pets Fayre, a kids’ cricket set from Kent Cricket Direct, a creative session with the Arty Farty Retreat, a voucher to spend with The Running Hub and a delicious day out with local chocolate specialists, Temper Temper.

To enter, you simply need to visit Southborough this Saturday, find the clues (12 in all) and then share a selfie showing your haul using the hashtag #sayhisouthborough either on Facebook, tagging @VisitTunbridgeWells, or on Instagram, tagging @tunbridgewellsvisitor. Alternatively, you can email your photo to business@tunbridgewells.gov.uk – you will need to use this option to enter if your social media profiles are private.

Meet the traders

The traders of Southborough are looking forward to saying ‘Hi!’ to you this weekend – and helping you to find the treasure. Here are a few who are keen to welcome you to their town.

Sarah Baden, Pets Fayre

With a wide range of products and services to keep your furry friends happy and healthy, Pets Fayre is the home for everything animal care. Whether it’s dog walking, cat toys, fish food or some pampered grooming, they have it all.

Sarah Baden took ownership of the shop five years ago, leaving the investment banking world behind to put her love for animals first.

“I really wanted to take over a pet shop, as I felt there were many out there who weren’t providing customers with the correct information,” Sarah says. “I really disagree with the sales of animals in a pet shop — so it was important to me that we focused on giving local pet owners the proper support.”

“We are also a part of the Pet Food Recycling Programme, working with TerraCyle to help minimise the packaging that ends up in landfill sites across the UK. You can bring your pet food packaging back into the store after use and we will recycle it for you, helping to raise money for the Folly Wildlife Rescue charity.”

”It’s great to be able to give back to our community and we are now working on making all of our packaging environmentally friendly.”

David Castle, The Running Hub

Founded in 2010, The Running Hub is a leading, independent shop that offers some of the best tried and tested kit in the South East. From beginners to seasoned ultra-marathon runners, they will always try to find the shoe that fits, videoing customers running on a treadmill to advise on the perfect footwear for their gait.

A former national middle-distance runner, owner David Castle and the team use their wealth of knowledge to help their customers go further. Alongside the marketing expertise of David’s partner, Anett, not even lockdown could slow down their enthusiasm.

“We love our loyal customer base, so during lockdown we decided to do a virtual analysis,” says David. “Customers could send in videos of themselves running and then we were able to make recommendations for them to come and collect. We knew we couldn’t let our customers down.”

“I love being able to see our customer base grow; we work hard to provide this level of customer service, so it is good to see our hard work pay off!”

Elly Obeney, Contain Yourself

Contain Yourself is one of the growing number of zero-waste stores aiming to cut out single-use plastic and other waste. Customers bring along their own empty bottles, jars or bags and refill them from the wide range of packaging-free products.

Owner, Elly Obeney, was passionate about creating a business around living less wastefully. Initially starting from her mother’s conservatory in 2018, demand for the service quickly grew and by February 2020 she had the means to open her own shop.

Contain Yourself now offers everything from vegan food to household cleaners, laundry products and personal care alternatives, helping the Southborough community to shop more sustainably.

“I was moved by the devastating scenes in Blue Planet 2, which encouraged me to research ways in which I could reduce plastic in my own life,” Elly says. “After reading as many books as possible, a topic which kept coming up was zero-waste/refill shops. With nothing like this in my area, I decided to give it a go myself!”

“Although I had to shut my doors not long after launching due to Covid-19, I am so happy to be open again. If Contain Yourself can get through a global pandemic, we can get through anything!”