New business is a gem of an idea for couple

Maria and David Sibbald of Ruby Tuesday
Maria and David Sibbald of Ruby Tuesday

A Warkworth couple are enjoying semi-retirement by opening up a new gift and craft shop.

Maria and David Sibbald have not only taken on the premises in Narrowgate, Alnwick, for themselves.

They have also sub-let space to 12 crafters from the area to provide customers with even more choice.

Ruby Tuesday, named after the couple’s dog and the famous Rolling Stones’ song, opened on Monday in the former Alnwick Cards and Specially for You shop.

Maria said: “I have always wanted to open a gift shop and had been looking for premises and found this one on Narrowgate.

“But when I got here, the shop was twice the size of what I needed and I thought maybe I could just partition it off or something.

“Then I thought I could put a notice up to see if anyone was interested in the space.

“Within 10 days I had 12 people signed up and in and there are seven or eight on the waiting list as well.

“The front of the shop is gifts and the section at the back is made up of work from local men and women and it is working really well.

“There is a lovely selection of crafts on show and it means other people, who don’t have enough to fill a shop, have somewhere to showcase their work.”

Maria is a former sales engineer and husband David was an engineer. He is also in two bands and plays gigs across the UK.

They retired three years ago and opened the Village Tearooms in Alnmouth, but the business became too busy and they decide to give it up – wanting to work fewer hours during their retirement.

Maria added: “It is a lovely mix of gifts for men, women and children with a range of items from France to Northumberland and more.

“We are hoping it will be something different, so that we don’t step on anyone’s toes, and it seems to be going well so far.”