Businesses buck trend

Juliet Squire with her daughters Florence, 16, Martha, 11 and Harriet, 15. The family will be openin

Juliet Squire with her daughters Florence, 16, Martha, 11 and Harriet, 15. The family will be opening a new shop in Ottery. Ref sho 5028-18-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton - Credit: Archant

The entrepreneurial spirit of new business owners in Ottery is bucking the trend against the ‘usual doom and gloom’ reported about high street shops.

Traders and business leaders have welcomed the handful of new arrivals who are carving out a niche for themselves in some of the town’s many vacant shop premises.

But chamber of commerce chairman John Campion said there are still a number of empty units and these reflect badly on the town.

“This is a good opportunity for people to come in with the right business,” he said.

“The chamber’s aim is to help in any way we can.”

Juliet Squire opened her new shop, The Sewing Room, in Prospect Place, on Saturday and says it is finally the right time to fulfil her dream of running her own business.

“It has all just fallen into place and it has happened quite quickly,” said the mum-of-three.

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“It’s a heart’s desire that is finally being fulfilled.”

She said her three daughters, Florence, 16, Harriet, 15, and Martha, 11, are very excited and keen to help.

“This is something that I’m passionate about and want to share.

“It is of course about making money to support my family, but at the same time I do not want to be greedy and I want people to be able to come along,” said Juliet.

Shell Broadhurst opened Shell’s Discount Store in the former Bits and Bobs shop in Mill Street three weeks ago and is grateful for the support of her family and customers.

She said: “I am happy to try and respond to customer demand.

“I am trying to cater a bit more to kids because there’s nowhere in Ottery you can go and get all that you need for children’s parties and things.”

Owner of Ottery St Mary Antiques, James Goddard, said he spied a gap in the market and enjoys being able to offer a personal service to customers, by sourcing what they want.

Chris Abbott of the well-established Abbotts DIY store, in Jesu Street, said he is delighted that new entrepreneurs are adding to the variety of independent traders in Ottery.

“It bucks the trend from the doom and gloom you usually hear about the high street,” he said.

“It’s good for the town and good for other businesses so I wish them all the best.”