Our story started in 1978 on Polzeath Beach in Cornwall when a small village shop attached to a petrol station began selling and renting out surfboards and wetsuits to the early surfing pioneers. After the owner of the filling station retired Mr Harris and his wife Beverly Harris took over the premises thus opening the very first Ann’s Cottage store. Holiday makers and locals alike now had a place to get their beachwear before hitting the sand and waves of Polzeath, and from there the Ann’s Cottage name was born.
In the late 1990’s the pumps finally closed down, but that wasn’t the end of our story. Ann’s Cottage was already synonymous with all things related to the beach, surf and sea in Cornwall.
2003 saw the opening of our second store, in Wadebridge and from there the brand has continued to grow.
The third shop opened at Kingsley Village in 2006 and proved to be extremely popular. Our position in Kingsley Village helped to spread the Ann’s Cottage name further and gave us the opportunity to start looking at further expansion… which is exactly what we did! The very same year we also opened our first Padstow store!
2007 & 2008
2007 was a big year for us… not only did we open Animal stores in both Newquay and Padstow, but we also officially went digital! In 2007 we launched our website annscottage.com, this was a special milestone for us as a company, and far from those humble beginnings on Polzeath beach. Although, the Ann’s Cottage brand wasn’t ready to stop there… this progress simply made us ready to expand even further. Thus opening two new stores in Falmouth in 2008!
A strong essence of our company is the locations of our stores, we pride ourselves in opening stores in some of the most stunning locations across Cornwall. We are especially proud of our two Fistral stores which both opened in 2009. Opening stores at Fistral beach which is not only the home of the British surf scene but also the home for the international surfing centre further cements our position in the UK surf scene. 2009 also saw the opening of our Clearance Warehouse store in St Columb.
The decision to move from Kingsley Village in 2010 and open the Cornwall Surf Centre in St Columb was a risky one! The location in St Columb may surprise some people but the risk paid off, today Cornwall Surf Centre is the home to one of the biggest selections of new season fashion wear and accessories from all of your favourite surf and lifestyle brands. Positioning our Cornwall Surf Centre alongside the existing St Columb clearance store has helped to make this location a true destination for shopping!
One store in Padstow just wasn’t enough for us, in July 2013 our second Padstow store opened in Mill Square.
In 2017, 39 years after we started our story on Polzeath beach we decided to head back to our home to open a brand new store! Polzeath is now the home of our original store and our Polzeath Surf Centre which is completely dedicated to all things surf from hardware to body boards to SUP’s, as well as having the largest collection of wetsuits in Europe!
Since our humble beginnings on Polzeath beach in 1978, the surf community has been at the heart of our story. Helping to celebrate our 40th Birthday we couldn't think of a better place to open a new Ann's Cottage store than in Newquay, the town that is undeniably the surfing hub of Cornwall. With a vast array of incredible beaches and an almost constant supply of epic waves, Newquay truly is the place for surfers, whether you're a beginner or a seasoned pro.
Opening a store in Truro may come as a surprise to some, considering it is a landlocked location... BUT we saw this as the perfect opportunity to bring Ann's Cottage from the sea to our county's city bringing a taste of life by the sea to the high street, as well as kitting our customers out with everything they need to hit the waves! Although opening back in July as a Clearance Store it is now closed for a refit but due re open in Spring 2019 as a brand new 7,000 square foot Surf & Lifestyle Store that promises to transport you to the surfing capital of the world; California!
Today Ann’s Cottage is a recognised household name across Cornwall, as well as being one of the largest retailers of surf wear and accessories in Europe. We have grown from that small store on Polzeath beach into a brand that now consists of 14 and a website. Throughout our success we have remained a family run business that thrives on being at the heart of all things surf and lifestyle, with a dedicated passion to all things related to the sea. Our team is made up of 150 – 200 members of staff who are all incredibly knowledgeable, enthusiastic and dedicated to always providing outstanding customer service… we are lucky enough to embrace the surf lifestyle on a daily basis, and there aren’t many retailers that can say that!
Ann’s Cottage is a way of life, it’s the Cornish way of life, the surfer’s way of life… and it’s an iconic brand that continues to grow and grow.