Keswick’s visitor boom is helping a town art gallery and cafe bounce back after lockdown.
Libbie and Dan Barton run Treeby & Bolton, in Lake Road, having taken the business over from Libbie’s dad, Keith Graham, and his partner Sue Hoffman, who ran it from 2005 to 2018.
Post-lockdown business trends, such as a rise in staycations, and the Eat Out to Help Out scheme, have been helping the café make a comeback, said Dan and Libbie added that the slower pace of life in lockdown actually helped their business in the long term.
“During lockdown, people spent loads of time reflecting and looking at their homes. Now they are coming to the shop and gallery to try new styles,” said Libbie.
“We had to close the shop during lockdown, but I ran our online shop, and then started doing private appointments for people to come in and view or buy art and interiors.
“It actually allowed us to give a really personalised experience to customers. I’ve been surprised by how quickly Keswick has bounced back from lockdown.”
Dan added: “Eat Out to Help Out was really positive for us. We’ve been super busy and noticed a huge spike in business on deal days during August.”
He said he felt optimistic about the future of the business. “The Keswick season is so long now. What we’re hoping is that Keswick will be busier than normal into the autumn. I’m quietly confident that the business will stay buoyant into Christmas.”
Libbie added: “We had lots of repeat customers, sometimes even in the same day.”
“It’s always been key for us that people feel comfortable here. Now, if people feel safe, it gives them the confidence to eat out again,” said Dan. “The feedback has been that the space is just right.
“Libbie focuses on the home interiors and the gallery space upstairs and I run the café. We are inspired by running the two together so that Treeby & Bolton is an experience for visitors.
“We’ve tried to make sure the café reflects the style of the gallery. It’s a contemporary, relaxing atmosphere.”