News: Exeter’s new Lego shop ‘Brick and Mix’ announces opening date!
Stephanie Walker headed to Brick and Mix for a preview and to get the lowdown on Exeter’s newest business.. an independent Lego shop!
Anyone that knows me will know that I am a massive St Thomas fan. We moved here in 2013 and ever since I’ve clearly known that this is the best side of the river. I love telling everyone who asks about the awesome community feel, the fact that it’s got everything I need; great schools, doctors, childrens centre, lovely people, shops, a great festival, more lovely people, toddler groups, even more lovely people. For the most part I rarely need to venture into the city centre, St Thomas has all I need.
But this Sunday I may have been proved wrong. St Thomas and in fact the whole of Exeter has been missing something. An Independent Lego shop. Brick and Mix.
On Sunday my little brood were invited along to a friends and family sneak preview (luckily my eldest is good friends with the owners daughter… score!) and I can’t wait to tell you all about it.
The back story
Brick and Mix is owned by Darren and Claire Smith, St Thomas residents since 1999 and both Exeter born and bred. Darren is a lifelong Lego fan and since being made redundant in 2011 has been running his own online Lego business selling spare parts and hard to find sets.
Darren has always been keen to open an actual shop that not only sells Lego but that also becomes a part of the local community, a hub of creativity and fun for people to share in his love of Lego.
When the shop on Cowick street become available earlier this year Darren convinced Claire that it was the perfect opportunity to make their dreams become a reality. The couple have two young daughters, Leia and Maisie and the shop is very much a family affair, you can see photos of the girls being put to work setting up the shop on their Facebook page here.
A peek inside the shop
So what’s it like inside?
The shop is split into two parts. The front part is very much a Lego shop, a huge mini figure display, boxes and boxes of different sets ranging from duplo sets, to Frozen and Moana sets through to vehicles and a large selection of Star Wars sets. There is also a range of very affordable stationary and lunchboxes and other Lego merchandise, there really is something for everyone.
The back part of the shop has been turned into a Buildzone. There are tubs and tubs and tubs of Lego, so much Lego!
This is where the beauty of this shop is, I think it’s going to be a fab place to build community, make friends and spread more of the St Thomas love. It is £2 to enter and play with as much Lego as you like, there’s plenty of space for lots of people to get involved with a central table and lots of worktop space round the edges too.
Once the shop is up and running Darren has hopes of toddler duplo mornings, birthday parties, special events and other exciting ideas too.
Once you’ve built to your heart’s content you can either weigh your model and pay to take it home with you, or you can choose to leave it behind. If you’re lucky enough it may even get picked to be displayed in the large glass cabinets dividing the shop space up. My big girl was very pleased to get her first creation added to the display.
If the sneaky peek we got on Sunday is anything to go by, and from what I know of Darren and Claire’s drive and community spirit, Brick and Mix is going to be a huge success.
I’ve got a feeling my girls after school pleas of “can we go to the park?” will soon be “can we go to Brick and Mix?”
If you’ve not ventured over the river into St Thomas before (why not?!) then this is a definite reason to come.
Brick and Mix is officially opening its doors to the public this Saturday (25th November) and it’s opening times for November/December are:
Thursday: 12-9 (6-9pm over 16’s only in the buildzone)
About the Author: Stephanie Walker
Originally from Coventry with a slight detour via Wolverhampton and Luton, Steph moved to Exeter in January 2013. She lives in the St Thomas area of the city with her husband Chris, their 3 daughters and springer spaniel Freddie.
A primary school teacher gone rogue, Steph currently works for Makelunch a national charity seeking to end holiday hunger for children and also runs weekly singing sessions for toddlers and their grown ups.
Steph is passionate about building community, being honest about parenting ( in particular our birth experiences and post-natal mental health) and food!Tags: brick and mix, Devon, Exeter, family fun, lego, lego play