A NEW business venture is bringing a touch of American retro style to Gerard Street in Ashton.
Blend n’ Shake is a milkshake bar and cafe, recently opened by sisters Laura and Becky Hutchinson.
The pair have a mutual love for the US and have designed their facilities in an American diner style.
Laura said: “I used to work at Disneyworld and also Disney cruise lines and I’m hoping to bring their fabulous customer service to our business.
“We also have American confectionary and we do our own homemade soups as well.”
Becky said: “So far our most popular shake has been the Oreo flavour - we also have the full range of milks, including soya and lacto-free varieties.
“We had wanted to venture off on our own for a while so when this place was empty we decided we would do it.
“It all happened quite quickly and we’ve only been open for about a fortnight.
“We’re open every day, including at the weekends and we also have a range of sandwiches and ice creams.”
Just across the road is the Card House and Balloon Room owned by Becky and Laura’s mum Cath.
She said: “We could have a Hutchinson corner, couldn’t we?
“This place has been open for 10 years, we just celebrated our anniversary.
“We’re close to the market for the parking which is helpful and have plenty of people going past.
“We sell a full range of cards, balloons, gifts and we also have a wedding room upstairs.
“Up there we’ve got everything you need, invitations, place cards - we just say that the brides just have to find a groom and we’ll provide the rest!”
Just around the corner from the two Hutchinson businesses is the Special Days Bridal House.
Owner Michelle Lee said: “We have been open for more than 15 years and have lots of regular customers.
“We’ve had families who have come in for communion dresses, then prom dresses and then come back for their wedding dresses.
“It’s nice to see them grow up and keep coming back in.
“We’ve got wedding season coming up just now so we’re starting to get very busy.
“We’re in a good location here with plenty of passing trade - we’ve got an offer on for 10 per cent off prom and communion dresses for those who haven’t got themselves sorted yet.”