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About Us

Who Are We?

Harts are a fourth generation family business and have been established since 1919. We now have extensive premises built on the original site where our founder, the late Walter Hart, was Sturminster Newton's local Blacksmith. This lovely old Market Town (once lived in by Thomas Hardy) is situated in the heart of Dorset's Blackmore Vale.

We are one of the UK's largest in store and on line retailers of Cookware, Kitchenware and Kitchen Electrics, stocking a comprehensive range at competitive prices, offering, with great confidence, cookware of unbeatable quality and value.

If you are ever in the West Country please pop in, we would love to see you!

Graham & Johnathan Hart

Harts Family
Graham Hart

Graham Hart, Managing Director

Johnathan Hart

Johnathan Hart, Commercial Director

David Conduit

David Conduit, Purchasing Director

Kirsty Allen

Kirsty Allen, Company Secretary

Philip Hart

Philip Hart joined the family business in 1979 and took the helm in the mid 90s when his father, Eddie, retired. Philip has been largely responsible for transforming the business into a both a country department store and a thriving ecommerce site. He even selflessly gave up his large, air conditioned office to accommodate a growing marketing and web team!

After being with the business for 40 years and with Harts having celebrated our 100 year anniversary in 2019, Philip is stepping back from the day-to-day running and leaving the business in the capable hands of the next generation.

Alongside our team of directors, we now employ over 50 staff, all of whom are dedicated to our 'family business' ethos that has always garnered both customer and staff loyalty. We call them our extended family - some have worked here for over 25 years, and all are friends as well as colleagues. Our family business is built on our lovely staff, and they all play an important part in our past and our future.

As an independent family business we pride ourselves on our award winning customer service. Our trained staff both in store and on the phones are able to give advice on our full range of products, with excellent advice and assistance offered after purchase as well as before. 

We take our duty as a responsible retailer incredibly seriously, which is why we have invested in initiatives to reduce our environmental impact through the use of renewable energy and recyclable packaging, and have a robust age-verification system in place online to prevent the sale of knives to under 18s. 

Inside Harts

Bricks & Mortar

We’re not just an online business. Our countryside department store has a retail floorspace of 20,000 square foot and sells everything from diy tools and equipment to camping gear, clothing, gardening items and of course, kitchenware. We’re based in Sturminster Newton in Dorset, so if you live locally, you’re visiting the area on holiday, or you’re making a special trip just to see us then we would be delighted to welcome you.

Our warehouse and distribution centre is located on the same site, so if you’ve seen something online but can’t find it instore, then simply ask one of our friendly staff who will be able to locate and collect it from the warehouse for you. Our office and customer service staff are also all based here and all staff are incredibly knowledgeable about the products that we stock, with regular training to keep us all up to date.

We will soon be embarking on a project to expand the size of the store even further - follow us on Facebook to keep up to date with progress!


Walter Hart, Farrier
Eddie Hart
Harts Truck
Hart & Sons Manufacturing
Harts Shop, Sturminster Newton
Harts Family


At the age of 17 Walter Hart, an apprentice blacksmith, joined the Royal Field Artillery as a Farrier. In 1919, he was demobilised from the army, and established his own blacksmith business in Sturminster Newton, just a brief canter away from where we are today.


As Walter's reputation and the business grew one of his sons, Bill, joined the family business helping his father shoe horses, mend cart wheels and doing other general repair work.


Walter's second son, Eddie finished his National Service in the RAF and joined the burgeoning family firm.


The business outgrew their small workshop, and new premises were constructed on the fringes of a marshy area of town called Butts Pond, and we still call this home to this day. Two wonderful blacksmith shops and forges, costing the princely sum of £800, were erected, sadly neither of which are still standing, but you can still see on display in our store one of the original anvils and shoeing tools used by Philips grandfather, uncle and father all those years ago.


Around the time of the new forges, it was decided to look to branch out. As Eddie was never that fond of horses, he started retailing agricultural ironmongery, and manufacturing basic farm implements.


By this time, with farrier work in decline, the manufacturing side of the business had taken off, and a brand new factory was built to support this success. Harts was well regarded through the UK farming community, most famous perhaps for its yard scrapers and feed trailers, and exhibited at all the major county shows. Eddie had created a major manufacturing business, and chose to refuse offers from leading national companies to buy him out. He saw the greater value, like today's generation, in seeing the family business continue.


Eddie’s son Philip joined the business and set about transforming the retail shop from an agricultural suppliers into a modern, country department store. The local Hardware Shop had burnt down and closed, and so this was the launch-pad for the retail arm of the business. The old forge buildings were demolished, and a purpose built shop and offices were erected.


With the business growing, the store was extended in both 1984 and again in 1991


Philip has always had his eye on the next big thing, and with that in mind, in the early nineties Harts took its first tentative steps into mail order.


Some early success gave us the encouragement we needed, and our first trading website was launched in 1995, one of the first operational and trading sites anywhere in the country (we had a feature written about us in the Daily Telegraph at the time).


Continued growth saw yet another expansion of the retail premises in Sturminster Newton.


The online side of the business had proved successful but it was driving forward without a proper direction for a while until Philip's two sons left university, and joined the family firm. Johnathan and Graham were able to bring a much greater understanding of the modern, technological world, the next generational drive to push forward rapidly with our online presence. The right staff and ingredients were in place, and with much hard work and perseverance, as well as some quick lessons learnt, the internet business has grown very rapidly, becoming a well respected, national award winning enterprise.


Our purpose built 60,000 square foot despatch centre was completed in 2010 and a new suite of sales offices shortly after in 2013, both purpose-built to give our mail order customers the same level of service and efficiency that our store customers have enjoyed for so many years.


We have continued to grow as a business to become a leading independent retailer, recognised with a number of local and national awards.

The store now encompasses many more departments, including Garden, Tools, Electrics, Camping, DIY, Giftwares, Housewares, Storage, Clothing, Bathroom and of course Kitchen, and is a wonderfully relaxing environment to shop and work in.

In 2017 the first edition of Kitchen magazine was published.

Our online presence has increased significantly and a new, innovative and modern website was launched in 2018.


In 2019 we celebrated our 100th anniversary. After 40 years in the business, Philip relinquishes his custodianship of the business. Graham takes on the role of MD with Johnathan becoming commercial director.


An ambitious redevelopment of the store is completed in 2021, creating a large, integrated garden department, increased space in our housewares department, and a much larger carpark. The Harts Coffee Loft also opens, offering customers a place to take a break from their shopping to enjoy a cup of coffee and a slice of homemade cake.

In 2023 our store and website won six national awards, including the much coveted Independent Cookshop of the Year at the Excellence in Housewares Awards and Independent Retailer of the Year at the Housewares Awards.


Excellence in Housewares Awards 2023

Winner: Excellence in Housewares Awards 2023
Independent Cookshop of the Year

Housewares Awards 2023

Winner: The Housewares Awards 2023
Winner in four categories

Direct Commerce Awards 2023

Winner: Direct Commerce Awards 2023
Home & Interiors

eCommerce Awards 2023

Finalist: eCommerce Awards 2023
Finalist in two categories

Excellence in Housewares Awards 2022

Winner: Excellence in Housewares Awards 2022
Excellence in Online Retailing

eCommerce Awards 2022

eCommerce Awards 2022 Bronze
Best eCommerce Customer Service

The Housewares Awards 2022

Winner: The Housewares Awards 2022
Online Retailer of the Year Award

Good Retail Awards 2022

Shortlist: Good Retail Awards 2022
Digital Impact Award

Excellence in Housewares Awards 2021

Winner: Excellence in Housewares Awards 2021
Excellence in Online Retailing
Employee of the Year

eCommerce Awards 2021

Winner: eCommerce Awards 2021
Best B2B/B2C Marketing or Advertising Campaign

Good Retail Awards 2021

Winner: Good Retail Awards 2021
Sustainability Initiative Award

Excellence in Housewares Awards 2020

Finalist: Excellence in Housewares Awards 2020
Finalist in two categories

Finalist: eCommerce Awards 2020
Finalist in three categories

Good Retail Awards 2020

Winner: Good Retail Awards 2020
Bricks 'n' Clicks Award

Winner: Housewares Innovation Awards 2020
Best Family Business

Excellence in Housewares Awards 2019

Winner: Excellence in Housewares Awards 2019
Honorary Achievement Award