A couple have swapped flowers for sweets with their new business venture.
For almost a decade former florists Sue and Bill Longman had had their eyes on a business premises in Bury St Edmunds.
When it became available recently they jumped at the chance, opening their franchised Mr Simms Olde Sweet Shoppe in Buttermarket on May 27 – just in time for the Whitsun Fayre.
Bill said they had been ‘crazy busy’ since opening and were looking forward to things slowing down a little so they could spend longer talking to customers.
“Apparently this used to be a sweet shop. We’ve had four people say they used to come in here years ago. It seems it’s come around full circle,” he added.
The Brentwood couple – whose daughters, Cherry and Heidi, will also be helping out – have run a florist business for the last 20 years but wanted a change.
“This is a happy experience because everybody who comes in is in a good mood, whereas with a florist they come in for funerals and the like,” said Sue, pleased with her new business.
“Being a florist was a 24/7 business – we used to really specialise in weddings and that was just full on,” said Bill.
“I had been trying to get this [shop] for about nine years, I like the location, the look of the shop suits what we do and we like Bury as a whole, we’ve got family here,” he added.
People visiting the shop will find handmade chocolate and fudge, around 60 different pick ‘n’ mix varieties, specialist liquorice, an American range which includes popular items like jelly beans, Hershey’s and Mike and Ike, as well as around 180 different jars of sweets – and free samples are also given.
“It’s all about the customer, always has been and always will be,” said Bill, adding: “You can try stuff here, buy your sweets and we’ll put a couple extra in, that way there’s always an alternative – it just broadens people’s horizons.”
The Mr Simms Olde Sweet Shoppe is open seven days a week and will be looking to take on extra staff in about a year’s time.