COMMERCIAL Street and Llanarth Street are among the city centre’s busiest thoroughfares, connecting many of Newport’s traditional shopping areas with the Friars Walk and Kingsway shopping centres.

And though Commercial Street contains many chains and high-street brands – Waterstones, WH Smith, Primark, Sports Direct, and Boots, to name a few – there are also some real gems of independent shops to be found there.

Among them is Bubble Bath and Bodyworks, a new venture by owner Teg Crathern located at 47 Commercial Street.

South Wales Argus:

The Bubble Bath and Bodyworks shop in Newport. Picture:


Shelves on the shop’s walls are packed with colourful, wonderful-smelling products for all your beauty needs.

There are handmade soaps, bath bombs, hair products and candles to make sure you’ll be feeling like royalty during your next bath time.

The shop offers lots of gift box options perfect for Christmas gifts, and there’s a strong emphasis on selling products which are cruelty-free, vegan, and avoid single-use plastics.

South Wales Argus:

The Bubble Bath and Bodyworks shop in Newport. Picture:

Ms Crathern originally planned to open a coffee shop when she bought the premises last year, but switched to opening a beauty shop after spotting “a gap in the market” in the city, she told the Argus.

She already plans to expand her business by opening a beauty room above the shop, where parties and beauty tutorials will be held.

Another new arrival which has taken off on Commercial Street is Hetty’s Baby Boutique. The baby clothes shop first opened in Newport Arcade in July 2018, but moved to its current premises at 145 Commercial Street last month.

Owner Charlotte Jones was inspired to set up the business while she was on maternity leave, she told the Argus. The shop trading online for 18 months, gaining thousands of followers on social media, before Mrs Jones decided to expand the business by also opening a store in the city centre.

South Wales Argus:

Hetty’s Baby Boutique

The shop sells clothes for little ones aged 0-3 years, and inspiration for the designs and fabrics comes from Spain. There’s also a brand-new range of Christmas outfits, ready for the festive period.

“We moved to a larger premises for more footfall, and we’re already seeing a bigger impact, with customers finding it easier to pop in” Mrs Jones said. “There’s more variety of footfall and people who aren’t local are visiting the city centre.”

In Llanarth Street, Tracy Stokes’ clothing boutique Belle Femme has moved to a new home. The shop’s elegant ranges of ladies’ clothes and accessories includes stock from the fashion capitals of continental Europe, with new lines arriving each week. There’s also a range of Christmas decorations, with 25 per cent off in the run-up to December 25.

South Wales Argus:

Belle Femme

And a few doors down, near the city’s library, you’ll find a real Newport treasure. Vacara’s chip shop has been a fixture in Llanarth Street since 1900, though the business started trading in Newport a few decades earlier.

The famous chip shop draws customers from all around the world, but there’s also a loyal local customer base.

What better invitation to spend an afternoon shopping in Newport city centre than the option of buying a piping hot bag of chips at the end?

  • This is part of a series of features marking this weekend's Small Business Saturday.