If “coffee, cocktail, sleep, rehearsal” sounds like an inviting prospect, then Zoe Guilford has the place for you …
Zoe and his wife, Gemma Wasley, are the brains behind the popular Rehab Squared store on Duke Street, but circumstances have caused them to take a different direction in business.
“We have had an incredible last two years during the pandemic.
“It was a difficult time, but we had tremendous support from the Isle of Man government and the Manx public who wanted to buy local produce,” says Zoe.
Looking back, she adds that other challenges during the store’s five years of opening – which included construction around the store, high prices, and other overheads – were still not enough for the store. to close. But having a baby in May has meant a shift in their priorities and a desire to spend more time together as a family.
She says, “The retail landscape has irrevocably changed, due to the growing popularity of online shopping, so we said goodbye to our beloved Duke Street store and launched the Rehab online store. Squared. “
The couple are also opening two new businesses in Castle Street: a cafe and cocktail party in collaboration with IoM Food & Beverage Ltd which operates the Harbor Lights restaurants, and a loft above offering tourist and stay accommodation.
The place on the ground floor will be called Henderson & Glass, thanks to a small original historical detail they discovered in the building.
Zoe says, “When we first showed our partners in IoM Food & Beverage, the sun was entering and illuminating one of the original beams with the name Henderson Glass.”
They did some research and found that the company dates back to the 1890s.
After getting permission from the Liverpool-based Henderson family, they decided that Henderson & Glass would make a big name for the bar.
Loft Eleven, is upstairs. It will offer an ‘invisible service’, as Zoe explains: ‘It’s a concept we discovered on a road trip in America. When we rented accommodation in Nashville, they sent us a code to enter.
“We didn’t see anyone and in the morning we had fresh pastries and orange juice left. You have no interaction, but you can call emergency numbers.
“It was a nice little vibe and we thought it would work well with the business traveler.”
With a cafe and cocktail bar on the lower level, this would clearly work just as well for a serious night out with no cab required.
“Coffee, cocktail, sleep, repeat”, that’s how Zoe puts it.
The Rehab Squared side of the business began when the couple started recycling pieces of old furniture in a run down garage. Now that the store is closed, the website store is going to be restocked with new items, focusing more on the Manx product line.
Zoe says, “We have worked to create a unique online shopping experience for our local and less local audience of customers and supporters.
“We intend to continue to source unique and unusual products from around the world, delivered to your door in style and a smile.
“We also plan to continue creating our original Manx-inspired gifts, which are always popular, such as our original range of pewter plaques and our group poster series.
“We would like to thank all of our customers who have purchased from us over the years and all those who have supported us within the local community.
“Their kindness will never be forgotten. And to the folks who haven’t bought from us but enjoyed a good ol ‘skeet – if we had a dime for every kind comment you’ve given us over the years, we would be looking for real estate in the Bahamas.’
The store’s website is at www.rehab2.co.uk.
l For more information on Loft Eleven and Henderson & Glass, you can visit their pages on Facebook, follow loft_eleven and hendersonandglass on Instagram, or visit www.Loft11.im and www.hendersonandglass.com.
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