Independents' Day - The Chocolate Box, New Street, Honiton
PUBLISHED: 07:00 15 October 2017 | UPDATED: 09:07 17 October 2017
Carrie Holdsworth, of The Chocolate Box, New Street, Honiton, discusses why she trades in Honiton.
Please introduce yourself…
My name is Carrie Holdsworth. I was born in Tiverton but grew up in Honiton. I have been a teaching assistant for 20 years, including at Farway Primary School and Millwater School, and then decided I wanted to open a sweet shop. It was a dream realised by me and my husband Stuart. We opened in New Street in Honiton in November last year and business has been pretty good.
What made you decide to set up shop as an independent trader in Honiton?
I always struggled to get that special gift for my mum’s birthday – we were always going to Sidmouth to get her chocolates. We decided Honiton needed its own sweet shop and set up shop here. I have lived here since I was a child and definitely decided it would be good to open a business in Honiton. I think it’s nice that the town has a lot of independent shops so you get something different instead of all of the same items that chains offer.
How do you see your business faring over the next five years?
Hopefully, trade will continue to increase once people realise we’re here and the range we offer. Because we are called the Chocolate Box, people sometimes do not realise we sell a lot more than chocolate. We have started doing a sweet delivery service, which has been quite popular so far so, hopefully, that will continue to grow as the business grows.
What one piece of advice would you give to anybody considering setting up a local independent shop? Just to go for it! It’s easy to over-think things, but you have to be brave. If you want to do it, you have to put those wheels in motion. It’s also important to research your market – we did lots of sussing out because we knew we couldn’t beat supermarkets on price. We decided to sell what they couldn’t.n