Five adjectives to describe Found in Bath: light, friendly, whimsical, young, bright. This is the celebratory shopping antidote to the bland high street, to mass consumerism and conformity.
Owned by Olivia Brewer and Nick Blake, the shop opened just 14 months ago but is already the premier destination for those aesthetes in the know. The moment you enter through the front door on Argyle Street you see wooden racks hung on walls as shelves, filled with really pretty homewares, stationery accessories and kitchenalia that evoke happy childhood memories, friends’ parties and holidays abroad.
Tall ceilings, white walls, vintage rails, old wooden cabinets and 1950’s mirrors make the browsing experience so much more interesting and pleasurable: you feel as if you are in a private gallery filled with beautiful, tactile objects.
Here is how the owners describe this world they have created:
“Found is a concept store in Bath that looks for the undiscovered, the classic and the contemporary. From fashion labels to heritage brands, new accessory designers and hand-printed stationery we source to create a tightly edited collection.”
“Olivia is a great cook”, reveals Nick.”Every day when we get home she prepares our dinner from scratch. But when we sit down to eat our meals, we have to sit opposite one another, or she has to sit to my left. She can’t sit to my right, as she is left handed and we knock our elbows together.”
“Cooking is my downtime” says Olivia. “It’s that part of my day when I want to switch off and relax.” She loves the 101 Cookbooks food blog and the Leon and Ottolenghi cookbooks.
The couple have just bought a house in Camden, in Bath, but originally Olivia’s family comes from Mevagissey in Cornwall. Olivia’s father loves growing fruit and vegetables and regularly brings produce fresh from the garden.
If The Foodie Bugle were to run a “Tea Towel Prize” no doubt Found would be a top contender. They stock Mr.P.S tea towels, that are stark white with bold, colourful print. On one there is a recipe of an apple cake from Olivia’s grandmother, who is a really great cook.
While they work in the shop the couple have sandwiches, salads or soup brought from home. They love eating at Sam’s Kitchen on Walcot Street, in Made By Ben, further down Walcot Street, and Yen Sushi, The Marlborough Tavern and Casanis are also favourite haunts. They like the coffee at Same Same But Different and Colonna and Small.
Nick has had a very eclectic career, and in between jobs he worked in a fish and chip shop and delivered fresh sandwiches.
They both love working in Found: “It is so convivial, you meet so many different people and so many customers come back time and again, so we get to know them as friends.”
17 Argyle Street
Bath BA2 4BQ
Follow Olivia and Nick on Twitter: @foundbath