Tell us how it all began 

Louise Walter, Customer Care and Visual Merchandiser: Uneeka first opened as a small unit in Truro’s Lemon Street Market in 2004, sourcing creative and ethical products to an initial concept of ‘A Lifestyle Made Fair’. Over the years the business has developed and grown into three Truro stores: Uneeka Home in City Road, and Uneeka Life and Cafe Uneeka in Boscawen Street. Most recently, we have expanded to Falmouth, where we have opened two stores. 

What’s it like being part of the independent retail community?  
We are proud to be one of Truro’s small independent businesses. We firmly believe a busy local high street thrives on positive interaction between consumers and local business, and Truro has a great community which went out of its way to support city businesses during the pandemic – we really valued the support we received. Similarly, Falmouth has a high street with tremendous potential, and we are really excited to be part of that. We have a whole new team of creative staff who worked incredibly hard to establish Uneeka there, and people have been really welcoming and receptive to our brand. 

Who comes through your doors?  
Our customers are socially and ethically aware, and community minded. Falmouth also has a big university full of young creatives who want to support small independent shops and keep their community interesting and thriving. We think a lot about that when we buy products, set up the space in our stores and employ staff. 

And who will we find on the shop floor?  

We really are a multifaceted team. We pride ourselves on harbouring creativity in the workplace, and many of our brilliant staff are training in or have a background in the arts. We love to see their ideas flourishing in our stores: window art, shop displays, social media design, exciting new recipes in the café …. We even stock products from previous staff members who have made ventures of their own. 

What’s on the shelf? 
We have always supported local artists and makers, as well as sourcing stock from ethical and eco-companies who use sustainable practices, such as reusing and recycling. We have fantastic suppliers who are dedicated to innovative practices such as biodegradable packaging, chemical-free dyes, water collecting and wind turbines/solar energy, as well as using recycled fabrics and reclaimed wood in manufacturing. It goes without saying that we are committed to reducing our own impact on the environment by reducing our carbon emissions throughout the business. 

You’re also committed to Fairtrade 
Yes, we support better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world.  Our Fairtrade suppliers seek to work with disadvantaged and marginalised producers and to develop business with them, helping them become financially stronger and more independent. When you shop with us, you don’t need to compromise on style to shop ethically.  

What pieces are currently proving popular with shoppers?  
It changes all the time, but most recently at Uneeka Home, our chairs have been flying out the door. The Ploughman is a really large, snuggly, velvet-covered armchair that customers just flop into when they’ve done a lot of shopping. Then they realise how comfy and cosy the chair is and order one for home! The Swyft Love Seat, pictured, is equally popular. The Life Store’s selection of St Eval Candles is always popular, but even more so at Christmas with those gorgeous warm scents such as Embers, Orange and Cinnamon, Figgy Pudding and Inspiritus. And of course, the Café is always a popular meeting place for a chat over freshly baked cakes, toasties and salads. 

Uneeka, 5 Boscawen St, Truro, TR1 2EL39; Market St, Falmouth, TR11 3AR. Tel 01872 888530,