NESTLED in a residential area in Hove is a high street even some locals have not yet stumbled upon.

Turn off New Church Road at St Philip’s Church and you will find a proud community of independent businesses.

Richardson Road, which is home to a butcher, a greengrocer, a barbershop and a delicatessen, almost feels like a street from a bygone era.

Elaine Lewis, who owns the Drury Tea and Coffee shop and cafe, said: “I can’t believe that for the 12 years I’ve been here I’ve been hearing the same thing – that people don’t know we’re here – but when people find us, they love it.

“We have a fabulous butchers, an organic greengrocers, a deli, a great off licence and a newsagent, and even a dog groomers in Lion Mews.

“All the shopkeepers are very friendly with each other – there’s a real community.”

Elaine says one of the biggest challenges of being off the beaten track is keeping prices down against rising costs.

She said: “Even though costs are high you try to stay competitive, but it can be hard to afford wages if you have to lower your prices.”

Over the road is Rocksea Beauty, which opened as one beauty treatment room back in 2006.

Since then the business has grown and now also offers chiropody and podiatry treatments.

Owner Michelle Blagg said: “I think for more people to know about this street would be lovely.

“It’s a hidden gem really.”

Andrew Roberts, who co-owns the Viva Verde florist in Richardson Road with Gerd Mommer Roberts, said the place was unusual as it feels like a village high street.

He said: “It’s something that’s dying out.

“But the British high street is generally not doing very well at the moment – there are so many empty shops in town and in Western Road.”

Co-owner Gerd agreed: “The council should also look at what shops remain.

“In Western Road for example you mainly have estate agents and nail bars, and it’s boring.

“With better town planning, there would be less saturation of the same stores.”

But Richardson Road can boast variety. Najdi Dawabi, who has co-owned Gratitude Tree Grocers since 2014, believes the shops in the street complement each other well.

He said: “People will get some meat from the butchers, have a coffee at one of the cafes, and then do their grocery shopping here.”

Gratitude Tree stocks fresh and local produce, with many organic foods and a refill station for toiletries and cleaning products downstairs.

Mr Dawabi said: “It’s a challenge, but I think people are looking to go back to how things were, with bringing your own bag and using less plastic. People are also fed up with the pace of life and rushing around all the time, getting more stressed.

“This street feels like a counter to all that.”

Unlike the impersonal nature of big supermarkets, Mr Dawabi is proud to offer his customers recommendations and conversation.

He said: “We talk to our customers, and I know the community. I love cooking and I don’t sell anything I don’t know the taste of.”

Just next door is RC Seckers family butchers, where Philip Downes started out as a Saturday boy 21 years ago.

Now he owns the butcher shop, which also stocks locally produced cheeses, pies and preserves.

He said: “This butcher has been here since the 1930s. The previous owner put an advert out in the West Hove Directory, and there were a lot of people who came in saying they were from the next street and they didn’t know we were here.

“I think we stand out on the map a bit more now. We have our regular clientele, but it’s always nice when you see new faces.

“We treat all our customers the same, regardless of what they are spending.”

Just outside the butchers, Jo Sykes was passing by with her mother Iris.

Jo, who lives in Selborne Road, Hove, said: “Richardson Road is just brilliant.

“Just now we were going to the cafe and Gerd from the florists was there to open the door for me and mum – it’s a very close-knit community.

“It’s really quite special.”