Independents' Day - Quarterdeck Confectionery, Harbour Road, Seaton
PUBLISHED: 07:00 29 July 2018 | UPDATED: 17:35 31 July 2018
Serving a sweet tooth in Seaton- Quarterdeck Confectionery, Harbour Road, Seaton
Please introduce yourself
My name is Janis Moore and I have lived in East Devon since 2014. I love living close to the sea and my husband is overjoyed to find himself surrounded by numerous golf courses! Having previously lived in largely urban environments, we really appreciate the spectacular countryside where we live and the dedication to service of our local independent retailers. I started my professional life as a qualified librarian, spending 10 years in libraries in the public and private sector. After my son was born, I re-trained as a teaching assistant and worked in some inspiring primary schools in Herefordshire and Devon. However, I have always wanted to have my own business and moving to the coast and seeing the holidaymakers in the picturesque seaside towns gave me the idea of opening a quirky sweetshop, staffed with friendly accommodating people like me! I realised that there was a gap in the market for the many sweets that people loved but couldn’t find in the larger retail outlets.
What made you decide to become an independent trader in Seaton?
I chose Seaton as the location for my nautically-themed shop as it is a lovely friendly place with a thriving tramway and an award-winning attraction in Seaton Jurassic. Seaton beach and Axmouth Harbour are a few minutes from the shop door and I frequently eat my lunch sitting on the sea wall looking out into the bay. Walkers on the South West Coastal Path pop in for a chat along with regular customers and children from the local primary school, where I used to work. The recently built Premier Inn in Seaton brings in visitors from all over the UK and they are delighted when they realise there is an ‘really old-fashioned shop with sweets in jars’ on their doorstep. I endeavour to make each person’s visit as enjoyable as possible and focus on customer satisfaction. I keep a variety of loose sweets in jars, biscuits, preserves and fudge, all made by hand in Devon, along with novelty confectionery and sweet-themed gifts. I use eco-friendly packaging wherever possible and encourage my customers to bring in their own bags and containers for me to fill with the sweets of their choice.
How do you see your business faring over the next five years?
My aim for the next few years is to ensure the wider community know about the products and services the shop can provide and to refine the stock to reflect customer needs. I would like to increase my social media presence and consolidate my reputation as a friendly family run enterprise. I intend to grow the business by promoting locally-made but affordable confectionery.
What advice would you give anyone else setting up independently?
Anyone considering setting up an independent shop needs to ensure that there is a market for the products or services they want to provide and that they are sufficiently different from those provided by the big supermarkets. They should find the best possible location for their shop, as low footfall means fewer potential customers. The branding of the shop needs to be relevant, effective and memorable and the staff need to be approachable and have a genuine interest in the community they serve.