A COUPLE who have taken on a new vintage and antique business in Hexham have described it as a dream come true.

Brian Hopper and his wife Christine have started a new business called the Vintage Emporium and Hexham Antiques Centre.

The three-storey shop can be found on Market Street, between Wardhaughs Electrical Shop and Ten Green Bottles Vintage. The three shops used to be one maze-like store, but have now separated.

Brian explained that his love for antiques and vintage items, coupled with losing his long-term job meant the offer of taking on the store was impossible to turn down.

He said: “I worked for the planning department at Ikea. I thought I was going to be there until I was 70, because I loved it, but I got made redundant.

“We were asked if we wanted to take on the shop in July, and I thought it’s a no-brainer.

“It’s my baby, I’ve ticked it off my bucket list. I’ve always loved antiques, I like buying something and then finding out what it is and where it comes from.

“Some have fantastic stories. I love the research.”

The shop, which opened on Monday, (Feb 3) sells a range of vintage products from clothes and jewellery to vinyl records.

Once the business is up and running, the couple intend to reopen the cafe on the shop’s second floor.

Christine said there was a market for the type of shop they intended to run in Hexham.

She said: “We’ve come here for years and we always thought it was a beautiful place.

“Hexham needs its little niche shops. We know there are people wanting to come in.

“Brian’s redundancy was a blessing in disguise! We had our 40th wedding anniversary on Sunday, and it’s something Brian has always wanted to do. I will just be helping out.

“I love the building – it’s so quirky. We’re still connected with the other two shops – we want people to use them as well."