Meet Janeen Burrows, owner of TW Brand, a newsagent and giftshop on Wooler Highstreet.
Janeen and her husband moved to Wooler in October 2019, taking over TW Brand which has been a staple on the Highstreet since 1850 when it opened as Wooler’s original giftshop and printers. Originally from Yorkshire but having spent most of their lives in Kent after stopping teaching music to local schools, children flying the nest they wanted to something for themselves.
I used to run a Christian Book Shop, and that’s what brought me to the area, Wooler is the birthplace of Christianity in England. I love it up here, the walking and the hills, Wooler fits us perfectly.
I’ve known Wooler most of my life, as I used to holiday in the region when me and my husband started dating, we walked the Pennine way, and 30 years later we were walking on the Cheviots and saw the most glorious sunset - we felt like we were on top of the world - literally. When the opportunity came up when we were visiting Bamburgh, something called me to be here, within 48hrs we got the business
We’re a good team, we are fortunate to own the building and live above the shop. My husband is partly retired but we are both directors of the business and employ three local people and paper boys.
We were open during the pandemic and got to know the community quite well. Not only are we a newsagent, but we also have stationary, and sell local self-publishing authors, local poetry books, cards, and local musician’s CDs. Where possible we stay away from big brands and if someone else in the town sells something we won’t sell it.
We also sell the unusual, we’re on St Cuthbert’s way and have lots of Pilgrims making the journey so we sell, clothing, books and guides about the history of the area celebrating where we are and what people come here to do.
Our 10-year plan has been ripped up and rewritten again and again. But we are prepared to run with what we’ve got and react. The most important thing is people supporting us, when people support us, we can pay the wages and money goes back into the local community.
Not only are we a newsagent, but we also have stationary, and sell local self-publishing authors, local poetry books, cards, and local musician’s CDs. Where possible we stay away from big brands and if someone else in the town sells something we won’t sell it.
Why should people Shop Local?
One of the things we like about Wooler everything is here, newspapers, chemists, butchers, and keeping money within the town. Everyone is settled, and the sense of community is great. When people come in to shop people are astounded you know everybody – it's a nice gentle way of living.