It’s been six months since Grinder Central opened its doors in Hills Arts Centre as part of the renaissance of the former beloved bookstore site in Waterloo Place – and to celebrate we’re giving away a top prize for coffee lovers.
One winner will receive a £20 Grinder gift card, which can be redeemed on any food and drink, a Grinder tote bag, bag of house roast coffee beans and a coffee-themed print by Sunderland artist Fiona Mullen, with the prize worth £50 in total.
Grinder Central, a sister site to the original Grinder in Durham Road, was the first business to open in Hills Arts Centre, which has brought new life to the old book store, turning it into a multi-purpose space, housing artist studios and a host of independent businesses, including a beauty studio, tattooist, glass artist, photographer, jewellery maker, candle maker, milliner and many more.
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Grinder Central has been a chance for owners Michael Curtis and Riki Tsang to expand on their original Grinder offering, with an expanded menu, featuring everything from pink slices to bagels, space for dining in and a fully accessible site, complete with a ramp and baby change facilities.
Like any new business, the first few months have been a learning curve, but Riki says they’re excited to be a part of the changing face of the city centre.
"Footfall has been affected by the works taking place at the new train station, but the completion of that will really open up this side of the city centre,” he said.
He added: "People are still getting to know we’re here. A lot of our existing customer base from the Durham Road site visit, but being in the city centre means we’ve met new customers too, and those who have come in love it. People are increasingly moving away from chains, and they really seem to appreciate the independent offering we have here.
"The city centre is certainly moving in the right direction, people just need to support these ventures.”
As well as daily cake supplies from Peggy’s Delights, Grinder sells home wares from independent businesses and artists, such as candles from Rise and Shine and prints themed around everything from pink slices and coffee to inspirational quotes.
The larger space means they can also run workshops at the coffee shop to complement the artistic offering at Hills, including origami workshops and Christmas wreath making.
All the units at Hills are now full, with the site housing more than 17 businesses and arts practitioners.
"It’s a really supportive and creative space to work, and such a great use of the building,” said Riki.
We’ve teamed up with Grinder Central to give away a coffee lover’s prize.
One winner will receive:
*£20 Grinder gift card to be used on any food and drink at the coffee shop
*Fiona Mullen coffee-themed print
*A Grinder tote bag
*Bag of house roast coffee
To be in with a chance of winning, answer this question: what is Hill’s Arts Centre named after?
A:: a flower shop
B:: a book store
C:: a hardware store
Email your answer, along with your name and contact details, to [email protected] by 9am on Monday, July 25.