THE smells of cheesecake and rhubarb and custard drift across the centre of Llandudno, and you could be forgiven for thinking a new restaurant has opened.
It is however the bath bombs and soaps of Bubble Hut, a new shop on Mostyn Street which is hoped to help bring the town centre back to life after the pandemic.
Darren Langshaw came up with the idea while delivering soap in the area for DPP during lockdown, when he realised there were no shops exclusively offering body care products.
“There has been nothing in the area that offered handmade soaps for quite a while,” he said. “I thought it would be a good idea to do just that and buy local produce.
“There has been no footfall in the town centre at all during lockdown but since we have opened there have been queues down the road.
“It is something new to the area, instead of another charity shop or arcade.”
It was a huge gamble for the 48-year-old, who has invested thousands in the business and employed four staff.
Mr Langshaw, secretary of Rhos-on-Sea Gol Club, moved from Merseyside to Llandudno eight years ago and “love[s] the place”, however he had intended to start a restaurant in Mallorca before Brexit and the pandemic disrupted his plans. It is still a move he is considering in the years ahead, however after early signs of success with Bubble Hut he wants to open more shops along the North Wales coast.
“There is nothing better than to invest in the area and hopefully I will be able to open more stores,” he said. “I would like stores more locally, and perhaps in Rhyl, though I don’t know whether the town is the ideal place with shops closing.
“I would also like to open bigger stores in Liverpool, London and Palma, as we have family there.”
Bubble Hut ingredients are vegan-friendly and 90 per cent are locally-sourced, with the shop’s biggest suppliers including You’re Gorgeous in Glan Conwy and Little Miss Gift Ideas in Abergele.
The store is split in two: a luxurious section of cocoa butter and essential oil soaps, and a fun section which includes cupcake-style soap and brightly coloured bath bombs.
“We have designed the shop so that as soon as customers walk in they are mesmerised by the colours, and then smells hit you, and finally the quality of the products brings you back,” said Mr Langshaw.
“There are shops here and there with a couple of soap products but nothing specific like us. We are aiming to attract locals and visitors and we will be running a website so that customers can purchase the same thing again.
“It is something a bit different, bright and colourful in the town.”