It opened quietly three weeks ago, but there are big things ahead for Chapel Walk’s latest independent offering - Sporting Sheffield.
The store offers something which has not been seen in the city before -it focuses on celebrating the diverse range of sports and sporting clubs on offer in Sheffield, exploring their history and heritage. But, it is also a cafe, offering people the chance to share their own sporting stories and memories - and perhaps even discuss ways to make new ones.
The men behind the store, Chris Wainwright and Dr John Wilson, say they wanted to create a space where people of all ages and abilities could embrace all different types of sports.
Chris said: “We opened in a subtle way about three weeks ago because we wanted to find our feet first, but I think that has worked in our favour because we have had a lot of people coming in out of curiosity to see what we are about.
“So far, I have enjoyed speaking to people the most and hearing all about their sporting memories and the clubs they have been involved in.
“We want everyone to come in here, feel relaxed and have a cup of coffee.
“We’re about all kinds of sport and physical activity - football, walking, cycling - you name it, we’re interested in it.”
The store stocks products from Goalsoul, a Sheffield based company which offers a huge range of football-inspired art and apparel.
There is also merchandise from Sheffield Football Club and Hallam Football Club, as well as other products and artefacts by publishers and producers whose work has a sports emphasis.
Teas, coffees, cakes and biscuits are available in the cafe.
Chris and John are hoping to offer even more in future - and with two further floors to play with there is plenty of potential for growth.
“We have so many different ideas at the moment. When people come I say to them this could all be changed, even in a week or two,” Chris added.
“We want to become a main focal point for all sport in Sheffield. We are hoping to have a space where we can invite sporting figures in and run different events with them. There’s also potential for a bigger cafe or perhaps even an art gallery promoting sport-based work.”
There will be an official launch of the shop on February 9, and Chris is hoping sporting figures from across the city will be there to show their support. Full details are yet to be confirmed.
The store is open 9am to 5pm from Monday to Saturday and 8am to 4pm on Sundays. Visit Sporting Sheffield to find out more.
For the full feature on Chapel Walk shops see today’s Star.