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Beyond the expected

British sweet shop/lolly shop

By claireinqbn - 8 July 2010 32

Hi folks, Claire here from Queanbeyan … well, actually I’m from even further away than that, Norwich in eastern England, but hope you won’t exclude me on either ground. Have just moved to Qbn after three years in Coffs Harbour and am still frozen in shock at the winter temps here. And not a de-icer spray in sight!!!

Just wondering, does anyone here know of a British food/treats/lolly shop anywhere in Canberra or surrounds? Reason being that once I’ve defrosted,  I’m keen to start my own business and was thinking of leasing one of several vacant shops in Queanbeyan. Obviously it will be more successful if there’s little or no competition in the area. Thank you for any help!

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British sweet shop/lolly shop
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I-filed 5:12 pm 25 Jul 10

Hi Claire, if you’re new to business I recommend you learn about market research before you start up. e.g. when you say you want to be in an area where there’s “little or no competition”, that could well be a fatal mistake. You might do well in an area where there is plenty of competition – and a lot of traffic. I agree with jasmine – start doing the markets for the treats, and keep the food for online and even delivery. Place your product in cafes … meet people, network … much more fun than being stuck in retail behind a counter all day and itching to get out and about promoting!

You’ve already got two distinct markets: people who will be new to your treats (I’m assuming they are your own, and British style) and whom you will be introducing them to, and people who know exactly what brand-specific British Bulldog stuff they want. The latter will “pull” your products, and the former you will need to “push” to.

I hesitate to recommend the ACT small business bureau, but the feds used to operate a small business start-up scheme. I’m sure there’s lots of info around, even if you don’t want to do a formal course. Seriously though, be cool-headed and don’t open a shop without having an objective person apprise you of the pitfalls of your plans.

And sorry, but statistically, prepare for the possibility of failure.

Good luck!

jasmine 4:35 pm 25 Jul 10

What about a shop at the markets – less days and more people on the on-days. There is belconnen or Fyshwick or the Bus Depot, Woden CIT and Hall markets.

Not sure Q’beyan would be the best place even though the rent would be more competitive but if you had an online shop as well that would increase your market. Maybe you could also wholesale to other shops further away. Good luck with it as it is a great idea.

cranky 5:36 pm 21 Jul 10

BD84@#19,

They relocated to opposite the butchers, just down from the Hot Bake.

Will be relocating again next month to the ex Black & White shop, just up from the Commo Bank.

Unfortunately the range has been run down badly.

Pommy bastard 4:59 pm 21 Jul 10

Hven’t been there yet WMC, but certainly will now.

My thanks.

Woody Mann-Caruso 3:32 pm 21 Jul 10

Probably preaching to the converted, PB, but have you checked out Plonk in the Fyshwick Markets? They’ve got 80+ UK beers in stock.

Pommy bastard 2:18 pm 21 Jul 10

I’ve not got a sweet tooth, so a lolly shop would not be an attraction to me at all.

However, if you are stocking other Brit foods, proper maramite etc, I’d be there like a shot. (Good Brit beer would be a BIG selling point.)

brit 12:48 pm 21 Jul 10

just joined in – for the lady whose sister is hanging out for PG Tips – I happen to have four boxes pyramid style and well within best by dates I no longer need!

rco89791@bigpond.net.au

Genie 10:38 pm 13 Jul 10

For those that have mentioned Iron bru, I’m pretty sure you can get that at most supermarkets these days. I know I’ve seen it at Supabarn, and in Grog shops mixed with Vodka. 🙂

As for boiled sweets here in Canberra, there is the shop at Gold Creek and a lady that does the rounds at the markets. She’s cheaper than Gold Creek and I stock up at Hall Markets every month when I go. (with the added bonus of a guy selling kettle corn nearby her stall too) Mmmmmm

claireinqbn 10:02 pm 12 Jul 10

p1, sorry, only just got that one. A little slow tonight. 😀

claireinqbn 9:56 pm 12 Jul 10

Virulent One (I’m sure you’re not, really) thanks for the local Queanbeyan knowledge. Your first Yorkie is on me (if you’re English, remember those trucker ads?) That Glebe shop (near my cousin, who’s just off Glebe Point Road) has now moved to Bondi btw.

claireinqbn 9:27 pm 12 Jul 10

Er, Andy … raincoats? Should I even ask?

claireinqbn 9:24 pm 12 Jul 10

Thanks to everyone for the great suggestions. I’m continuing with the research – I agree Canberra would be a better draw but the rents are obviously higher than Qbn. If anyone spots a vacant shop in a good centre in Canberra, please give me a yell! I’ve found a supplier in Adelaide, and yes, they do Walkers Cheese & Onion, Branston Pickle and all the rest (oh, and my all-time favourites, Bendicks Bittermints … drool).

It was actually the Bungendore shop that gave me the idea … it’s a little village but when we went in the sweetshop, it was heaving 🙂

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