New Exeter companies that created the buzz in the city in 2021


Times have been incredibly tough for the retail business over the past few years, but despite the challenges, Exeter has continued to attract exciting new businesses.

In July, fashion expert and DJ Gok Wan even temporarily took over an empty unit in Exeter’s Guildhall shopping and dining center to film his new TV show Bling.

New Italian restaurant Luciano’s – owned by Marco Pierre White’s son – is set to open in the Princesshay this week.

Read more: Right to buy deepens affordable housing crisis in Exeter

And the leafy bar The Botanist is also set to reach town in the fall, occupying the unit previously used by The Stable pizza and cider bar.

Queen Street will also soon see the arrival of Big Bakes Bakery offering homemade treats. The store will open in November.

From successful independents to retail giants, these are just some of the businesses that have made the city their home this year.

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Dan with one of his masterful murals behind him and an assortment of dishes on the table

Many locals were thrilled when Japanese restaurant Goto moved to Exeter from Plymouth in April this year.

Managed by Dan Goto and his wife Katie, the restaurant offers traditional Japanese cuisine against a backdrop of stunning hand-painted artwork created by Dan.

He honed his artistic skills when he studied the art of animation as an international student in Plymouth.

Goto is at 38 New Bridge St, Exeter, EX4 3AH.

German Doner Kebab

In May, the upscale kebab house opened on Fore Street, promising to bring a healthy and nutritionally balanced approach to “traditional kebabs”.

Upon opening, Daniel Bunce, GDK Managing Director UK & Europe, said: “We are delighted to officially open and bring the German Doner Kebab experience to Exeter.

“Our revolutionary kebabs are revolutionizing kebab in the UK, and we are delighted to bring a new fast and relaxed experience to the region, offering fresh and tasty food in a relaxed and modern setting.”

The store is at 177-181 Fore St, Exeter, EX4 3AX.

Geek Retreat

The Geek Retreat team in Exeter

The Geek Retreat team was literally jumping for joy when they came to Exeter in July.

In all things “geek”, from sci-fi to superheroes, the franchise has stores across the UK.

The Exeter branch provides space for people to play board games, grab a hamburger or milkshake, and purchase merchandise.

Geek Retreat Manager in Exeter, Jay Platt, said: “I can’t wait to bring everyone in, meet the good folks from Exeter and see how well the store is doing.

“I’ve always loved the city, and that’s one of the reasons I chose here to open the store.”

Geek Retreat is located at 87 Fore Street, Exeter, EX4 3HX.


The company, famous for its Punk IPA brand, opened in May, after spending more than a year looking for the perfect place in Exeter for their bar.

It has since grown into a popular spot just off Queen Street in the Guildhall Shopping Center complex, with punters divulging their craft beers and food, including an all-you-can-eat chicken wing promotion on Wednesdays.

BrewDog is at unit 12 Queen St, EX4 3HP.


Inside Sabatini in Exeter

The independent Italian restaurant Sabatini came to rue Catherine in May.

It is run by Lloyd Gardner and the company has replaced its old Lloyds Kitchen restaurant.

Find the restaurant at 16 Catherine Street, Exeter EX1 1EU.


Mexican restaurant chain Tortilla finally arrived in Exeter over the summer.

The building was occupied by the Jigsaw clothing store before the operation closed last fall, with a pop-up shop selling scarves replacing it after it closed.

Promising to sell ‘real California burritos and tacos’, the chain started in 2007 when founders Brandon and Jennifer Stephens – who are from the United States – found nowhere the same taco experience from their home country. .

Find the business at 40 High St, Guildhall Shopping Center, Exeter, EX4 3HP.


Ivy in Exeter

Upmarket restaurant chain The Ivy finally arrived in Exeter this year and was the first of its kind to open in Devon and Cornwall.

After a complete renovation of the iconic City Bank of Exeter, the leafy restaurant finally opened to the public in June.

General Manager Drew Davey said ahead of the opening: “Each location is carefully selected to enhance, reflect and add to the local area.

“Exeter is a beautiful Roman city with a rich history, so it naturally came to the fore. The building itself ticked those boxes as well.”

The Ivy is located at 65-67 High St, Exeter, EX4 3DT.

Locked in a room

The new place offers themed escape rooms

The Escape Game Locked In A Room experience opened in Exeter in August.

Speaking ahead of the opening, Locked In A Room Director Oliver Pfaff said: “After 18 months of separation, we are delighted to offer an activity that can finally bring teams together again, regardless of the age or weather. “

The city’s largest escape room, Locked In A Room, has the capacity to accommodate 24 players in its five themed escape rooms.

Play as a group of scientists working on secret government-funded projects in an abandoned warehouse in Timelock.

Or play Parallax and help solve the mystery of the kidnapping of the time travel super genius, Professor Pottenger.

Either way, participants have 60 minutes to find the clues, solve the puzzles, and bid for freedom.

Locked In A Room is located at 83 Fore St, Exeter, EX4 3HR.

The Lilac Bakery

After a successful crowdfunding campaign, the The community bakery-café and creative space arrived in St Thomas this year.

The cafe serves freshly baked bread, cakes and specialty coffee and will host public workshops and will be available for private hire.

Find the Lilac Bakery at 59 Cowick St, St Thomas, Exeter, EX4 1HR.

Kinkhao coffee

Nui of the Kinkhao cafe in Exeter

Already a popular spot for authentic Thai cuisine, the family-run take-out restaurant opened in January.

It is run by co-owners and moms Qwan and Nui Evans, who is also the head of Kinkhao.

Qwan moved to Exeter from Thailand in 2010, Nui followed suit about five years ago.

Kinkhao’s menu features what Qwan describes as “classic Thai cuisine,” including popular dishes such as phadtai and green curry.

Find the company on 9 Well Street, Exeter, EX4 6QR.

Creative hobbies

Creative hobbies in Exeter

Selling over 25,000 arts and crafts products for hundreds of activities, Hobbycraft opened in Exeter in September.

Store Manager Tina Hippsley said: “Our new store is full of crafting materials for all ages and abilities, and both beginners and experienced craftspeople are all welcome to walk into the store and chat with our colleagues. creative.

“They are always happy to share their knowledge, tips and tricks.”

Hobbycraft can be found at Rydon Lane Retail Park, Digby Dr, Exeter, EX2 7HX.

Food store and café Aris Healthy Life

The company located on Sidwell Street offers a wide range of organic, gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian breads.

It also provides natural and healthy personal care products and health supplements.

Find the store at 148 Sidwell St, Exeter, EX4 6RT.

The head of the Turks

The Turk’s Head, Exeter

Not new at all, the iconic building has been part of Exeter for hundreds of years.

However, after the departure of the Italian restaurant chain Prezzo in 2018, the building remained closed until it reopened as a refurbished pub in September.

A favorite of prolific writer Charles Dickens, it was bought by City Pub Group from Clive Watson in 2019.

The Turks Head is located at 202 High St, Exeter, EX4 3EB.

Cake or death

Cake or Death arrived in the city in July after Katie Cross decided to move her vegan business from east London to the southwest after the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

Named after a sketch by comedian Eddie Izzard, it sells a range of brownies from his store in Exeter and through the mail.

Cake or Death can be found at 68 Bartholomew St W, Exeter EX4 3AJ.


The bubble tea business officially opened at the Guildhall shopping and dining center in Exeter in July.

Bubble tea is a drink served in a large cup filled with ice cubes and originated in Taiwan in the early 1980s.

The drinks fall into two categories – teas with milk and teas served without milk.

Tealith’s menu includes fruit tea options like passion fruit, kiwi or lychee, milk tea options like banoffee, chocolate, and pina colada, as well as soft drinks and lattes.

Find the business at its outdoor kiosk, 2 Guildhall Shopping Center, Exeter, EX4 3HP.

Ted baker

Ted Baker in Exeter replaced the Mac cosmetics store

Devon’s first stand-alone Ted Baker store opened in Exeter in August.

The global lifestyle brand is now located in Princesshay, in a unit previously occupied by cosmetics brand Mac.

The store offers Ted Baker’s main collections of menswear, womenswear and accessories, as well as personal shopping appointments.

Find Ted Baker at unit SU6, Princesshay Catherine Street, Exeter, EX1 1QA.

Are there any other great Exeter companies that we should know about? Leave us a comment below.

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