A TEA SHOP and community space has expanded to sell more handmade gifts.

Suzie’s Gift and Tea Shop, in High Street, Maldon, already has more than 30 shelves downstairs.

Now, they have expanded upstairs which includes an extra 40 shelves to display works from independent retailers from the district.

Co-owner Suzie Pugh said she is passionate about helping her fellow small business colleagues.

She said: “Being a small business ourselves, we love to support other small businesses.

“There is so much creativity and talent locally and being able to showcase it all under one roof is such an exciting endeavour and a privilege too.

“We now have over 80 different people selling their bespoke makes, ranging from gifts to homeware, from collectibles to clothes.

“We also have a craft workshop table where we are running lots of different art and craft workshops, as well as our wellbeing and support groups.

“I am passionate about easing social isolation and loneliness.

“It’s become an epidemic of this generation and can be the cause of so much mental and physical illness.

“Owning a small business or working from home can be lonely so this is an ideal way to meet like-minded people, gain support, learn new social media tips, and we plan on having motivational speakers too.”

Co-owner and husband Jon added: “We are entering our fifth year of being on the high street and its lovely to be known for our delicious food but also for our community spirit. Long may it continue.”