Whisper it, but things are looking up in Liss village centre – or should we say hotting up?

Villagers and traders have given Samworth Sweeps & Stoves a warm welcome after the showroom opened in late May on Station Road.

It’s the second new shop to open within a month in the village centre with Butcher and Larder moving in a few doors down a few weeks earlier, hot on the heels of Dessie’s Café Bake.

And there’s more good news as neighbours The Larder recently picked up a Muddy Stilettos award while the parish council is pushing ahead with plans to spruce up the area through wider pavements and pedestrian improvements.

Dessies Cake Bake opening
Hollie and Leah are the smiling pair behind the counter at Dessies Cafe Bake, which opened on January on Station Road... (Tindle/Paul Ferguson)

The Samworth Sweeps and Stoves showroom which Jez Samworth and his partner, Clare Munro, recently opened is the culmination of years of hard work.

Visitors will find a large selection of woodburning stoves along with fireside accessories, fire pits, barbecues and curios made by friends and family.

May might seem an odd month to open with the temperatures rising, but summer is the perfect time to buy a new stove, woodburner or getting a chimney swept as the savvy will be avoiding the winter rush.

And demand shows no sign of slowing, especially with ongoing worries about gas prices.

Liss Traders The Larder
The Muddy Stiletto award-winning The Larder has also brought vitality and freshness to Station Road. (The Larder)

“Summer is actually the ideal time to buy a stove or get a chimney swept because you’ll be ready for winter and the coldest season,” said Jez, from Buriton.

“I’m glad we opened here in Liss because I quite like this area and you’ve got good footfall here, especially with Dessie’s opening recently.

“We’re at a busy junction with a car park across the road and we’ve been made very welcome. Parking is a lot easier than it is in Petersfield and it’s better for deliveries, too.”

Clare, from Liss, added: “I also think it’s good to see more people coming up this end of the village centre because for a long time there wasn’t too much up here.”

Gideon Carter is another trader who is enjoying life in Liss having opened Butcher and Larder. It’s been around 20 years since the village lost its butchers – where Turtle Bean is now – and he’s been blown away by the response since moving into the old Cobwebs unit.

Their ethos is about locality with everything bar pet food and poultry being produced within 30 miles of their shop.

Liss Traders Butcher Larder
Gideon Carter achieved a dream when he opened Butcher and Larder last month on Station Road. He was encouraged to move into the former Cobwebs unit by his landlord. (Butcher and Larder)

He said: “For the last five years we’ve done the markets and farmer’s markets in Winchester, Petersfield, Southsea and Chichester but it’s always been a dream to have my own shop.

“Our landlord is really nice and he wanted us to come here because it would be something different for Liss.

“I’ve been told it was going to be a barbershop but he thought it would be really nice to have a butchers here so he half-approached us. I’ve already got lots of regulars from Liss, Liss Forest, Petersfield and Greatham and logistically it made sense.

“I like the vibe here and it’s cheaper than Petersfield”.