A new bottle emporium promises to bring the best in artisan produce to St Neots. Whilst a number of independent shops have closed in the town recently, Shumë is bucking the trend and opens its doors on the 6th of April.
The bottle emporium is centrally located in Cross Keys Mews, off the High Street, and will have a range of beers, gins, coffee alongside a selection of unique cheeses.
Shumë (pronounced Shum) comes from the Albanian expression for more/lots of choice and is the brainchild of Luan Saraqi.
After moving to the UK from Kosovo, Luan initially spent some years in London before moving to Cambridgeshire. “I’ve lived in St Neots for 7 years” he said “and I’m excited at being able to share my love of great food and drink with the opening of Shumë. I’m stocking many products from local suppliers and look forward to my customers discovering their favourites.”
Shumë will stock over 150 beers from local brew to a specialist range of Belgian beers; 10 gins featuring Ely Gins and a selection of freshly roasted artisan coffee from Coffee World in Milton, Cambridge. Customers will also be able to choose from a handful of balsamic vinegars on tap and a selection of cheeses from Britain as well as some rare flavours from Belgian Trappist and Abbey breweries.
Luan has given prominence to environmental considerations when planning the store, with the shelving all hand created from recycled wooden pallets and he’ll be offering cost-saving incentives linked to recycling measures.
“Bottles of Belgian beer will be returnable with a 10p reimbursement applicable; customers are invited to bring in their own vinegar bottles to refill; ” explained Luan.
Luan Saraqi is drawing on his experience in the hospitality industry as he opens Shumë. He has worked at London bar-restaurant Belgo, where he first fell in love with Belgian beer, learning about its flavours and brewing process; popular Young’s pub The Roebuck in Hampstead and an ongoing role behind the bar at Bushmead Manor. Luan is already known by many in St Neots from his role as Bar & Premises Supervisor at the Loves Farm Community Centre.
“I love talking to people with a shared passion for great food and drink” added Luan “and I’m looking forward to making many new friends as we chat about recommended beers, how to match them with cheese to bring the flavours to life, or selecting a favourite coffee, roasted locally.”