June saw plenty of excitement as new businesses opened across Hertfordshire, but lots of sadness as beloved stores closed.

Here's 11 businesses that opened or closed last month.


1. TK Maxx - Stevenage

Stevenage's new TK Maxx and Homesense stores opened on June 29, to much excitement from residents.

Shoppers queued to get a first look at the new stores, which span two floors and 30,164 square feet.

The Comet: Shoppers queued outside the new store on opening day.Shoppers queued outside the new store on opening day. (Image: TK Maxx)

Replacing TK Maxx in The Forum which closed days earlier, all staff from the original store have moved over, as well as around 40 new employees.

"We are thrilled to bring Homesense to Stevenage, and give local shoppers the chance to shop TK Maxx and Homesense side-by-side," said a spokesperson for TK Maxx and Homesense.

2. Hatche Bistro - Potters Bar

Hatche Bistro opened in early June, promising to bring "flavours of Turkey and the Mediterranean" to the town.

Serving up an extensive menu with plenty of choice, traditional Mediterranean dishes are on offer, as well as steaks, burgers, pasta and seafood.

The Comet: Hatche in Potters Bar.Hatche in Potters Bar. (Image: Mrt Ali)

And for those fancying a drink, Hatche has a lengthy wine and cocktail menu.

"We are a family owned and operated independent continental style bistro bar," reads the Bistro's website.

"We will be bringing the flavours of Turkey and the Mediterranean to Potters Bar all served in a warm and welcoming atmosphere."

3. Yo! - Hatfield

Yo! selected Hatfield's Tesco Extra store as the perfect place to open their 300th sushi counter in the UK.

The kiosk in the Great North Road supermarket opened on June 21, creating seven new jobs for sushi chefs.

The Comet: Yo! sushi in Hatfield is the company's 300th kiosk in the UK.Yo! sushi in Hatfield is the company's 300th kiosk in the UK. (Image: Yo! Sushi)

"The opening of our 300th kiosk is a milestone moment for YO!," said Christian Haas, YO!’s managing director for the UK and Ireland," said Christian Haas, YO!’s managing director for the UK and Ireland.

"Our partnership with Tesco has continued to grow rapidly over the last year, with 200 additional kiosks opening throughout the country.

"We look forward to continuing to be the go-to lunch, dinner or grab-and-go snack location for Tesco customers up and down the UK."

4. Tesco Express - Hatfield

The end of June saw a new Tesco Express store open in Hatfield's £45 million High View development.

The store joins plenty of other businesses who have moved in, with the regeneration project set to transform South Hatfield.

The Comet: Welwyn Hatfield Mayor Pankit Shah opened the store.Welwyn Hatfield Mayor Pankit Shah opened the store. (Image: Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council)

Natascha Jesuvant, Tesco’s regional director for South East England, said: "We are delighted to open our new Tesco Express shop at High View in Hatfield.

"Welwyn Hatfield is an important area for us, not least because it is home to our head office.

"We look forward to welcoming local residents and students to our new store and to continuing to support the local economy through our head office operations."

5. Knoops - St Albans

Knoops, a new chocolate drinks shop in St Albans, opened its doors on June 16.

Our reporter, Pearce Bates, went to meet owner Jens Knoops, who was very excited ahead of the grand opening.

"We have a fantastic team here who are supporting the opening," he said.

"Vanessa, our manager, is very excited to welcome everybody from St Albans.

The Comet: Knoops founder Jens Knoops.Knoops founder Jens Knoops. (Image: Pearce Bates)

"There is a chocolate for everybody, even the most harcore vegan or dairy intolerant people.

"Even though we used to be well-known for doing hot chocolate, it is also cold. We have 22 different hot and six different cold.

"So, whatever the weather, there is always a chocolate for everybody."

6. Saint and Sinner - St Albans

After a long delay, the Saint and Sinner pub in St Albans finally opened on June 14.

Owned by brewery and pub company McMullen & Sons, the boozer was set to welcome punters in late 2022, but saw that pushed back.

The Comet: Saint and Sinner in St Albans.Saint and Sinner in St Albans. (Image: Alan Davies)

Formerly a Nationwide bank branch, the building has been transformed, with Matt Cotter, head of operations at McMullen, saying: "It's good to finally get it open. We're really excited about the future of it."

7. All Occasions - Stevenage

All Occasions, a new stall in Stevenage indoor market, opened on June 17.

Run by Sam Gregory and her family, the stall will be selling flowers, gifts, balloons, craft material and more.

All Occasions is carrying on a family tradition, with the Gregory's having family connections to the market and town centre stretching back decades.

The Comet: All Occasions in Stevenage.All Occasions in Stevenage. (Image: Stevenage Borough Council)

The grandmother of Sam's husband Dale, Edna Ann Gregory, was manageress of the caféteria from the 1970s until the 1990s, and her husband, Bill, was town centre caretaker and met Queen Elizabeth II at the official opening in 1959.

Dale's uncle, Steve, was a presence in the market too, owning a bicycle repair shop.


8. Chia Naturally Healthy - Hitchin

Chia Naturally Healthy, a beloved vegan café in Hitchin, closed for the final time on June 11.

Lucy Fisher opened the café in 2015, inspired by a family trip to Australia where she found that healthy cafés were booming.

But now she is preparing to step away from the business, saying that she wants "to be able to focus on raising my children and being there for them always".

The Comet: Chia Naturally Healthy closed on June 11.Chia Naturally Healthy closed on June 11. (Image: Jacob Milligan)

In a Facebook post, Lucy wrote: "We know for our loyal customers this will come as sad news but this felt like the right time for us as a family.

"My Chia values are strong but my family values are stronger and I want to be able to focus on raising my children and being there for them always. Having a business makes this difficult at times.

"I opened Chia as a passion project wanting to bring plant based health food to the mainstream high street and what a journey it has been."

Chia is set to be replaced by coffee shop chain Esquires.

9. The Works - Hitchin

June 30 saw the announcement that The Works in Hitchin will be closing down later this summer.

The discount retailer, which sells books, art and craft materials, toys and games, and stationery, will be shutting for the final time on Thursday, August 24.

The Comet: The Works will shut down later this summer.The Works will shut down later this summer. (Image: Google Maps)

A spokesperson for The Works said: "We can confirm that we will be closing our Hitchin store after close of trade on August 24.

"This has been a great location for The Works, but sadly we have been unable to agree a viable rent agreement with the landlord.

"We apologise for any inconvenience caused by this closure and would like to thank customers for shopping at The Works over the years."

10. Molly's Tea Room - Hitchin

Much-loved Bancroft business Molly's Tea Room shut down on June 26.

The Comet: Carolyn Palmer opened Molly's Tea Room eight-and-a-half years agoCarolyn Palmer opened Molly's Tea Room eight-and-a-half years ago (Image: Maya Derrick)

The team at the tea room, which was opened by Carolyn Palmer eight-and-a-half years ago, said that the decision had "not been an easy one" and expressed their "deepest gratitude for your loyalty and support throughout the years".

They said that "the financial climate has made it non-viable", but thanked customers for their "support, friendliness, and belief" in the café.

11. Academy Hair and Beauty - Welwyn Garden City

Welwyn Garden City salon, Academy Hair and Beauty, suddenly closed after the property they operated from was reclaimed by the landlord.

They announced on June 19 that they would "cease trading with immediate effect", after the owner of the building took back the Fretherne Road property.

The Comet: Academy were forced to close by their landlord.Academy were forced to close by their landlord. (Image: Google Maps)

"We are saddened to inform you all that with immediate effect, Academy Hair and Beauty has ceased trading, due to the landlord taking back the property," read a statement posted on Facebook.

"We are required to vacate the premises by June 23. We will be using the coming days to fulfil our obligations to the landlord, exiting the property as per our lease agreement."