Claire and Dan Hennesy are relative newcomers to Exmouth. Dan owns a local fish and chip shop, (The Proper Fish and Chips Co) and Claire has her own jewellery business (Claire Lowe Jewellery). They’ve also got a young family, so life must be pretty hectic! It’s great to hear their experiences of running local businesses and living in our lovely town…
We moved to Exmouth just over two years ago, and we still can’t quite believe we live in such a beautiful part of the country. We relocated from West London to open The Proper Fish and Chips Co on Exeter Road. Dan has worked in the fish and chips industry for many years and we were able to create a traditional fish and chip takeaway with a contemporary twist.
As a creative business I have found living in Exmouth to be fantastic, I very quickly met a few other local creatives, who are very proactive at organising events. Illustrator Rosie Johnson (you can read her blog here) and Jess Pearson from Jaypea Art have recently set up a local Etsy group and selling events in Exeter. I am a contemporary jewellery designer maker working with silver and plastics and have been creating jewellery for 15 years. Alongside my business I also teach jewellery making classes. In the past I have visited Devon to take part in large scale craft events including The Contemporary Craft Fair in Bovey Tracey. It’s great to now be a Devon maker and to be able to take part in lots of local and regional creative events.
Since opening Proper, Dan has been overwhelmed with the support and encouragement of customers, other local businesses and the people of Exmouth. This continued when he won the Best Small Business Award 2018 from Exmouth Chamber of Commerce. As a small business we appreciate the importance of shopping locally and we source as many of our ingredients as locally as we can. The salad in our burgers is bought from Exmouth Farm Shop, the burgers are from Dartmoor bred cows, our pies are from Chunk in Ottery St Mary and our tea bags are from Devonshire tea. In October 2018 we moved over to using 100% plastic free packaging. We use Vegware cups, pots and lids alongside cardboard food boxes and wooden cutlery, which are all placed in a paper bag.
We moved here with our three children and have no regrets, the children are so lucky to be able to grow up surrounded by such a variety of open space, the beach, estuary path and Woodbury common. Our eldest children attend Marpool school which has a fantastic learning ethos and plenty of outside learning, including their own forest school.
When we moved to Exmouth we quickly became aware of the plans to redevelop the seafront, we feel really excited about the future of Exmouth. The Neighbourhood Plan is a fantastic asset to the town to ensure the environment is protected and the people of Exmouth have their say in how the area is developed. As a family we enjoyed the Queens Drive space a lot last summer and look forward to seeing what events are planned for this year.
If you, like Claire and Dan want to support the Exmouth Neighbourhood Plan, then make a note in your diary – the referendum is in March and Exmouth needs your vote!