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News - 18/07/16

The Sugar Store – a short history

Shepards Wharf gets its name from a local fishing family who progressed to commercial mariners during the 18th century and records of the family go back to the 14th century. 

By 1800, they ran a regular cargo service to the mainland and acted as carriers around the Island with William Shepard, the company owner, assisted by his three sons. By 1848, Shepards Brothers Limited were owners of five sailing craft and two steamers engaged daily in the coasting trade from the Island to Southampton and Portsmouth. 

Despite a huge fire in 1914 and being bombed in 1942, Shepards Wharf survived and after acquisition in 1949 by Pickfords, Shepards was the only legal quay on the Island for the landing of foreign goods. At this time, the Sugar Store Warehouse would have gained its name, with large amounts of sugar being delivered in paper packets on pallets via British Road Services barges. The Warehouse would have served to protect the sugar from the elements, and the Island from the 1974 sugar shortage. 

British Road Services barge at Shepards Wharf

Newly refurbished and upgraded into an events centre in 2015, The Sugar Store combines an industrial chic vibe with a nautical feel, taking advantage of its prime waterfront location with outside decking, marina pier, and stunning views over the world-class sailing waters of the Solent.

Redevelopment of The Sugar Store was carried out as part of Cowes Harbour Commission’s ongoing investment programme at Shepards Wharf Marina, which has become well established as a popular place to berth with a reputation as a friendly, customer-focused marina.

For all venue enquiries and bookings, contact The Sugar Store Events Centre team at Shepards Wharf Marina on 01983 297821 or email shepards.chc@cowes.co.uk.

“The Sugar Store – a short history” was published in the Style of Wight May/June 2016 edition.