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Market research leads Reepham businessman to a sweet dining experience

PUBLISHED: 07:00 05 February 2014

Roy Wainwright inside his sweet shop in Reepham. Picture: Ian Burt

Roy Wainwright inside his sweet shop in Reepham. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant © 2014

A Norfolk businessman used to dealing in distribution and franchise has turned his hand to something a little sweeter by setting up an American-style diner and sweet shop.

Roy Wainwright, 53, injected almost £20,000 in to the project last June after asking young people in Reepham what they wanted in the town.

Now a former butchers just off the Market Place is a bright diner with an adjoining sweet shop inspired by the United States serving up milk-shakes, ice cream Sundays, slush drinks and 260 varieties of traditional sweets.

Mr Wainright, who lives at Thorpe Marriott, is the managing director and founder of Lenwade-based fashion distributor Depot 94 and had no experience of running a seven-days-a-week shop before opening the diner.

But he said his former role at French postal company La Poste and experience in franchising helped him to research the market – where he quickly realised there was a niche in the town for a place for young people to go.

“I wanted to do something totally unique, and there’s no where else that I know of in the area that does something like I do,” he said. “It’s been a learning curve for me. But the diner is for the kids, it’s their diner, they can come here and be themselves.”

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