Antiques Roadtrip star opens new Suffolk antiques shop

Stephanie Connell and Teresa Potts outside Theatre Street Antiques

Antiques Roadtrip star Stephanie Connell opens Theatre Street Antiques - Credit: Ella Wilkinson

Antiques Roadtrip and Bargain Hunt star Stephanie Connell has helped open a new business in Suffolk. 

Ms Connell who runs her own antiques business and is often featured as an expert in the hit shows was in Woodbridge to help open Theatre Street Antiques. 

The shop is based in the former Red Cross training centre in the town, which had been empty for four years before it was taken over by Teresa Potts and her husband who had permission granted to turn the space into a shop.

The couple had been running an antiques business online as a sideline for many years and were eager to find a physical shop to continue their work in. 

"We've been selling on Etsy for quite a number of years but I wanted to open somewhere that was close to home," said Mrs Potts. 

"Somewhere where I could work around the children and school.

"Woodbridge was my hometown so it meant quite a lot to open here."

Teresa Potts of Theatre Street Antiques

Teresa Potts of Theatre Street Antiques - Credit: Ella Wilkinson

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Mrs Potts said their were many benefits to the business having a physical presence within the town. 

"It's quite nice to have a base here so people can come and view the items," said Mrs Potts. 

"Online you sort of lose that. People buy things and it's not what they expected." 

Mrs Potts got to know Ms Connell online and when Ms Connell heard about the new shop she was more than happy to come down and formally open it. 

"I was really encouraged that Teresa was opening a brand new shop after the horrible year that everyone has had," said Ms Connell. 

"I think it's such a great business."

Ms Connell said that now was a good time for antiques. 

Owner, Teresa Potts (left) and BBC Antiques Road Trip’s Stephanie Connell (right)

Owner, Teresa Potts (left) and BBC Antiques Road Trip’s Stephanie Connell (right) sitting in new antiques store ‘Theatre Street Antiques’ - Credit: Ella Wilkinson

"I think recently the antiques trade has become more popular than ever," said Ms Connell.

"I think lockdown has made people look at what they are buying and the ethics of what they are buying. 

"The opportunity to handle things and look at them in person, you can't beat that."

Mrs Potts said there was a lot of interest from local people on the shop's first day of opening. 

"We had a casual first day," said Mrs Potts. 

"It was really nice. People wanted to come in and see what the centre looked like.

"It  was not crazy, it was just nice."