AN ORGANIC food store has praised the public after celebrating one year of trading.

Grape Tree foods, located in Hexham Market Place, opened in the town last year and has experienced a successful year of trade.

“It’s been very well received by the general public, they’re really happy we’re here,” said store manager Ellie Marshall.

The store’s success has coupled with an increase in eco-friendly and climate concious businesses opening in Hexham.

New store the Refill Station prioritises plastic-free produce and artisan gift store Matthias Winter specialises in local businesses.

At Grape Tree, customers can purchase everything from apricots and pitted dates to prunes and oats, Ellie said.

“We have a lot of organic foods while also specialising in the vegetarian and vegan market.

“Lots of customers keep coming in and say this kind of shop is exactly what the town needs.”

The store is one of a few in the town centre which have remained open throughout the lockdown with all staff and customers observing strict social distancing rules. Staff have also wearing appropriate personal protective equipment.

Ellie started as a sales clerk at the store when it opened, but has since been promoted to store manager.

She added: “We’re all happy here.

“I call us the best known secret in Hexham.”