Sidmouth’s Paper Moon card shop enters new phase with change of owner

Kristina Narmontaite, the new owner of Paper Moon, being handed the keys by former owners Jo and Mar

Kristina Narmontaite, the new owner of Paper Moon, being handed the keys by former owners Jo and Martin Johnstone. Ref shs 02 20TI 7085. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

A much-loved greetings card shop in Sidmouth has been taken over by a friend of the couple who ran it for eight years.

aper Moon, in Fore Street, is now owned by Kristina Narmontaite, who used to own the Baraza coffee shop and restaurant in the High Street.

She has taken Paper Moon over from Jo and Martin Johnstone after they decided to retire.

Mrs Johnstone said: "We've thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, but I've recovered from cancer in the last couple of years, my husband's a type 1 diabetic and we're in our mid-60s now.

So we thought, 'let's go now, let's put our lives first instead of leaving in our 70s'.

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"Now we can travel and visit family and friends, and even see this country."

In their eight years at Paper Moon, Mr and Mrs Johnstone took pride in knowing their customers well and being able to advise them on the kind of card a friend or relative would like.

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"Or somebody will come in and say 'I know it's a strange question but you don't happen to have a card with a turtle on it, or a tortoise?' And if you can literally put your hand on it, it's brilliant and it thrills them, and that's how we've always worked," said Mrs Johnstone.

Mrs Narmontaite, who is originally from Lithuania, came to England 18 years ago and has lived in Sidmouth with her husband for nine years.

She said she was immediately interested when she heard that Mr and Mrs Johnstone were selling Paper Moon.

"I've known Jo and Martin since I've been here and I've always loved the shop, and I thought, I'm ready to change completely, come out of catering and start something new," she said.

"I think I'm going to leave it as it is because they've got such a good range of cards and people love it, I'm not going to change anything much."

Mr and Mrs Johnstone are delighted to see their friend take over their business, which opened under its new management on Monday, January 6.

But they admitted that they had not given her a 'good luck' card.

"We knew she didn't need it," said Mr Johnstone.

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