8 July 2010

British sweet shop/lolly shop

| claireinqbn
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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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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!

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.


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 bastard4:59 pm 21 Jul 10

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

My thanks.

Woody Mann-Caruso3:32 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 bastard2:18 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.)

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!


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

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

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.

Er, Andy … raincoats? Should I even ask?

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 🙂

I thought all the sweat shops were in China?

cranky said :

Windfall Kiosk in Southlands, Mawson, sells old style lollies and sweets.

That place has been closed for about a year..

WonderfulWorld10:07 pm 08 Jul 10

TheVirulentOne said :

But as a Queanbeyan resident for 5 years I’d suggest you do plenty of homework about renting a vacant shop here; most of the main street ‘mall’ shops have been vacant during my entire time here, which I assume is because of the monopoly of Riverside Plaza. There isn’t as much passing walking trade as one would think, so you’d need to heavily rely on word of mouth and good advertising. quote]

Strongly agree you research the location. This could go really well in Canberra, but suggest you also place yourself for the tourist industry so you are not just relying on locals. And/or place your business in an area where lots of traffic from interstate will pass through (as locals will go there anyway if its a good well publicised store.

troll-sniffer5:50 pm 08 Jul 10

Are you going to sell raincoats or do i have to go down the road for them.




There are dedicated British Sweet Shops around, but none that I know of in the near vacinity of the ole Berra.

If you stock Walkers, Irn Bru, British Cadbury’s, licorice root and Galaxy… I will be a massive regular… and so will my entire family.


colourful sydney racing identity4:00 pm 08 Jul 10

Federation Square, Gold Creek Village out along the Barton Highway has an interesting little sweet shop.

Pretty well stocked if I recall – iron bru *mmmmm*

what happened to the lolly shop at Berrima?

There’s a sweets store in Bungendore (opposite the Bardy’s cafe) that specialises in rarer sweets.
Also, I’ve been told (but never seen) that Palmerston supermarket has a sideline in rare imported sweets – but mainly American.

Two more locations to do market research.

My sister-in-law has just moved here from England and would give her right arm for some pg tips teabags.

Wherever you set up, please let us know where it is so I can get my fix of Toffee Crisps and Walkers Cheese and Onion please. Oh, and rhubarb and Custards. thx!!

There is a lolly shop in Bateman’s Bay in the small shopping centre ( I think it is Bridge Plaza) owned by a lovely lady called Beth. I know she gets a lot of british sweets in as she has some British friends. You might like to get in touch with her. Her shop is called The Lolly Ladies, phone 44729299.

Probably not much help but I went to this one in the Hunter Valley.


Gold Creek and Braidwood, while great Lolly Shops, are not quite the Brit-fest I think the OP has in mind. If just listing straight lolly shops add the one in Manuka across the arcade entrance from My Cafe to the list.

Think more specifically pommy – http://www.thebritishlollyshop.com.au/ – Had thought I’d also seen one in the Sydney CBD in the shops underneath the tower.

Windfall Kiosk in Southlands, Mawson, sells old style lollies and sweets.

No restaurants in Canberra can make Yorkshire pudding properly.

TheVirulentOne9:43 am 08 Jul 10

There is no British lolly shop in this region. The only ‘complete’ British lolly shops in driving distance are in Sydney, one in Glebe and another in Skygarden in the CBD. The lolly shop in Berry has a limited selection compared to those two. Bear in mind that these Sydney stores do sometimes do postal deliveries, which could cut into your business; on our first visit to the Glebe store we were amused to hear the owner taking a phone order from someone in Rivett.

We’d love you to open a store, and will happily frequent it if you stock Yorkie Biscuit & Raisin Bars, and British Cadbury’s. But as a Queanbeyan resident for 5 years I’d suggest you do plenty of homework about renting a vacant shop here; most of the main street ‘mall’ shops have been vacant during my entire time here, which I assume is because of the monopoly of Riverside Plaza. There isn’t as much passing walking trade as one would think, so you’d need to heavily rely on word of mouth and good advertising. I’m sure you’ll do all of that, but I’d hate to start relying on you as the local Yorkie supplier and then find one day that you’ve disappeared. Good luck !

Woody Mann-Caruso9:37 am 08 Jul 10

Some IGAs (eg Deakin) sell a range of confectionary from the UK.

troll-sniffer9:33 am 08 Jul 10

Braidwood had a dedicated sweet shop last time I passed through. Braidwood is 80kms from Canberra towards the coast.

There is one out in Gold Creek (up near Nichols + Hall)..it’s ok but not as ‘complete’ as ones I’ve seen in Berry or in the Blue Mountains.

Can’t think of any others IN Canberra. Good luck with it all and let us all know if/when you open!

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