At a time when big-name retailers are struggling, sweet shops offer an in-store experience that you just can’t get in the supermarkets or department stores, let alone by shopping online.
For children, sweet shops are a place of wonder and delight. For adults, they’re a throwback to happy childhood memories. Who wouldn’t want to start a business that evokes those kinds of joyful emotions?
Clare Barlow and her fellow business partners certainly saw the potential. Having seen a poster in Mold, North Wales, for a sweet shop franchise opportunity, they decided to invest in and bring the first Spavens outpost to nearby Chester. One year on from launch, we caught up with Clare to find out more about starting and running a sweet shop business.
How would you sum up Spavens in a sentence?
Spavens is a bright and cheerful place of fun and smiles, where childhood memories can be rekindled through indulging in an array of sweet treats, and crafty cravings sated through the enjoyment of pottery painting.
Can you briefly summarise the background to Spavens and what you did before?
Spavens is a family-run small business in Mold. The shop has been in existence for over 30 years and evolved from a simple newsagents to what it is today. Spavens Chester is the first franchise of the Mold branch and is owned and managed by three local Chester mums – along with the vital support of our spouses and families. Prior to deciding to invest in the franchise, we were engaged in a range of different careers – retail, accountancy. public services and teaching – all of which have been useful in developing and running the business!
How has the business evolved since your launch? Have there been any particular milestones?
Since the launch just over 12 months ago, the business has gone from strength to strength gaining in popularity and notoriety.