July 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. Equires Coffee - Hitchin

The newest edition to Hitchin, Esquires Coffee replaced Chia Naturally Healthy, which closed down last month, at 8 Market Place, opening for the very first time on July 27.

"Our first day of business was nothing short of fantastic, and we are truly grateful for the unwavering support from the community and the tireless efforts of our hardworking team that made this a reality," read the Cooks Coffee Company website, the group that owns Esquires.

"Conveniently situated at 8 Market Place, our new store promises to be a haven for coffee enthusiasts and those seeking a delightful culinary experience."

2. Threads - Hitchin

Garden House Hospice opened its much-anticipated new pre-loved clothing store in Churchgate on July 25.

Threads looks very different to most charity shops, and has a vision of being a "sustainable retailer of choice on the high street", hoping to have a positive impact on the planet while reducing 'fast fashion' and raising vital funds.

Carla Pilsworth, director of income generation at Garden House Hospice Care, said: "What we didn’t have was a brand that appealed to the younger audience that we want to attract in our shops.

The Comet: Threads in Hitchin.Threads in Hitchin. (Image: Garden House Hospice Care)

"When speaking to customers loyal and new, we had feedback that our shops were great, but people wanted a different shopping experience which felt more comfortable and didn’t feel like a charity shop.

"Threads creates a space for the local community to shop, volunteer and give back through donations of unwanted items.

"Every purchase will make a change, turning pre-loved into re-loved while directly funding palliative care locally."

3. Always Loved - Welwyn

Welwyn is also getting its own pre-loved fashion boutique, with Always Loved coming to the village in September.

Operated by local charity, Isabel Hospice, and dedicated to women’s pre-loved fashion, it will replace SuSu, a much-loved women's clothing boutique that closed back in March.

"We are so excited to launch our new shop to the people of Welwyn," said Isabel Hospice’s head of retail and marketing, Charlotte Greenwood.

The Comet: Always Loved is coming to Welwyn in September.Always Loved is coming to Welwyn in September. (Image: Isabel Hospice)

"The pre-loved fashion market is experiencing a surge and it has become fashionable to shop second hand. It is great that shoppers are changing their mindset and becoming more mindful of the effects of fast fashion on the environment.

"We feel that our shop name embraces both these messages and speaks to the unique preloved items in our shop, and the love and care that we provide to our patients and their families at such a difficult time."

4. Maz London - Welwyn Garden City

Welwyn Garden City's Howard Centre has a new resident, after independent hat retailer Maz London moved into one of the vacant units.

Selling all types of hats for both men and women, their new store a first for the business.

The Comet: Maz London in Welwyn Garden City.Maz London in Welwyn Garden City. (Image: The Howard Centre)

"We are so happy to welcome Maz London to the Howard Centre," read a post on the shopping centre's Facebook page.

"Maz London is an independent business that sells hats and accessories, and they were online only and have decided to open their first store here in the Howard Centre."

5. Pasta Evangelists - St Albans

Pasta Evangelists, which specialises in fresh pasta, is now available on Deliveroo, UberEats and JustEat in St Albans.

The company was founded in 2016 and initially entered the takeaway market with a single unit in East London, but has now expanded to cover around 40 sites across the UK.

The Comet: Pasta Evangelists is now available in St Albans.Pasta Evangelists is now available in St Albans. (Image: Pasta Evangelists)

Alongside their pasta dishes, the takeaway also offers Italian lager, focaccia, burrata, charcuterie, cakes and Remeo gelato.

A spokesperson for Pasta Evangelists said that they "serve some of the UK’s freshest, artisanal pasta alongside high-quality sauces, inviting Brits to experience restaurant-quality pasta with minimal fuss" - and suggested you will get your food in "as little as" 15 minutes after ordering.


6. Barclays - Cuffley

Cuffley's Barclays branch will be closing later this year, the bank has announced.

The site will be one of 14 to shut down by the end of 2023, with the closure date for the Station Road branch confirmed as October 13.

Barclays will shut 142 sites this year and in 2024, with a spokeperson saying: "As visits to branches continue to fall, we need to adapt to provide the best service for all our customers.

The Comet: Cuffley's Barclays branch is closing in October.Cuffley's Barclays branch is closing in October. (Image: Google Maps)

"Where there is no longer enough demand to support a branch, we maintain an in-person presence though our Barclays Local network, live in over 200 locations, based in libraries, town halls, mobile vans and our new banking pods. 

"We also support access to cash with our cashback without purchase service, 24-hour deposit-taking ATMs and by working alongside the Post Office and Cash Access UK."

7. Virgin Money - St Albans

Virgin Money's St Albans branch is among those set to close by the end of year, the lender has announced.

"Changing customer demands" were blamed for its decision to close 38 sites across the UK, with up to 260 staff at risk of losing their jobs, according to Unite.

The branches are expected to close by the end of the year, with the St Peter's Street site among them.