At the beginning of May, Samantha Ackland-Jones celebrated the first anniversary of opening The Village Deli in Storrington, West Sussex. Steve Denham visited the store to find out her three key lessons for her first year in business.
As a newcomer to Storrington last year, Ackland-Jones says she knew that one of the big challenges she faced was capturing a regular customer base. She has been amazed that she now has a good number who use the shop every day.
“Whether it is for a small purchase or a much larger shop, I'm delighted that people keep coming to my store,” she says. She adds that she's learned many things about running a convenience store in the past 12 months, but there are three key lessons that stand out.
1. Build a strong relationship with local suppliers. "Only selling products from local independent suppliers and spending time understanding their products has enabled me and my team to talk confidently with our customers about the products we sell. It has also led to having suppliers coming to the store to undertake tasting events," she says.