Your eyes will arrive at Bath’s independent record and houseplant store, Chapter 22, long before you do, when they become transfixed on the stunning display of houseplants that come flowing out of its front door. The colourful cacti and beautiful button ferns brighten up the entirety of Broad Street and entice even the least curious of souls to poke their nose in.
Past the welcoming flora entrance, you will find the local owners, Dean Brown and Nicola Taylor, have a created a spectacle for the senses. Customers are not only treated to the sight of more luscious houseplants but also the crisp sounds of a classic LP playing in the background, and the aromatic smell of fresh coffee too.
The unique store is only small but manages to artfully combine both of Dean and Nicolas’ life passions for music and floristry, all whist having room for people to sit down and enjoy a cup of coffee at the back.
Dean has run the record label Chapter 22 Records since the 80’s and has helped develop bands like Balaam and the Angel, The Mission, Pop Will Eat Itself, Neds Atomic Dustbin and Dawn After Dark. Meanwhile, Nicola has been a florist for 30 years and her experience certainly shows by her ability to wonderfully arrange the rare and exotic houseplants around the shop.
The two opened the store in September of this year after settling on the idea during the lockdown and say they have been overwhelmed with the city’s response.
“We’ve only been open 9 weeks, but we’ve been really busy with local people and tourists.”
Dean said, when we visited Chapter 22 at the beginning of November.
“At a weekend, we have people here at 8.30pm grabbing a drink and listening to some music in the listening booths. It’s really become what we wanted it to be.”
The store can be easily found on the left side of Broad Street, if you are walking up the hill, and it’s a great spot for getting someone a special gift, or to simply chill out. There’s full range of house plants on offer from Red Anthuriums to Big Band Zebra Cacti and Senecio ‘String of Pearls’ succulents. The variety of vinyl in Chapter 22 is equally as diverse with Ed Sheeran’s latest album ‘Equals’ being played next Abba’s Gold and the Sex Pistols’ Same Old Ten Inch Bollocks, all of which are available to purchase.
Dean said his favourite thing about his shop was the amazing mix of people that come in but for us it had to be the awesome listening booths at the back, where you can set up for some work and listen to anything from Dean’s collection by yourself, using the booth’s personal record player and headphones.
It’s a truly masterful use of space and has such a palpable connection to Dean and Nicolas’ wonderful personalities that you’d be foolish not to pop in on your next visit to Bath.