March 15 2014 Latest news:
Friday, February 21, 2014
A Bungay businessman has bucked the trend by converting a barber shop which was changed into a house more than a decade ago back into a traditional sweet shop.
Keith Parker, who also owns Earsham Street Cafe in Bungay and The Old Rectory holiday cottages just outside the town, launched his new shop A Sweet For You last week, after being granted change of use permission by Waveney District Council.
The sweet shop, managed by Mr Parker’s 28-year-old son George, offers a display of more than 120 jars filled with old fashioned sweets.
Mr Parker said: “We are pleased to be adding another independent shop to the range on offer in Bungay.
“There used to be a sweet shop two or three doors up called Mint House, but that closed when the owner passed away.
1. Cola Bottles. Sugary perfection and aesthetically pleasing, with the different coloured ‘glass’ at the top and the cola bit at the bottom. I used to bite the top off and pretend to ‘drink’ the cola. I was an easily amused child. Cola bottles sometimes came coated in sugar, but I preferred them plain, just like my crisps.
2. Gobstoppers. The best ones were those which changed colour. There were all sorts of playground rumours about gobstoppers. If you swallowed one, it was claimed, it would remain in your stomach forever and a number of classmates at my school insisted they had been to hospital to have them cut out. I, of course, believed them.
3. Flying saucers. They looked great. Heck, when I was a child anything UFO-related was wonderful. However, the space age look was somewhat let down by the taste, which was like eating soggy paper.
4. Aniseed balls. It was always great fun to suck and suck them until just a tiny little black bit was left. But they were also a bit scary, because it was said they would attract horses. I was always nervous of that as it conjured up visions of me walking to school with a massive stallion suddenly leaping over a fence and pursuing me.
5. Fruit salads. Wonderfully appealing colours of orange and pink greeted those who unwrapped these little teeth rotters. Much better than Blackjacks.
6. Coconut mushrooms. I’ll be honest. I never ate one of these. They looked really sinister.
7. Bananas. The name probably broke some trade descriptions act, as I’m pretty certain there was precisely zero banana in these little yellow foam things. Sometimes, though, if you got old ones, they were rock solid and a potential milk tooth destroyer.
8. Caterpillars/worms/snakes. I was never sure exactly what they were meant to be, but I have fond memories of my dad buying me bags of these. The blackcurrant ones were by far the best.
9. Chocolate buttons. I’m not convinced these were actually called chocolate buttons. They were circular bits of chocolate with what looked like hundreds and thousands on top of them. You could get milk chocolate or, if you were fancy, white chocolate.
10. Jelly fangs. These looked like false teeth. I spent more time trying to balance them in my mouth and chasing people than actually eating them.
“There are other people in the town who sell sweets but not a specialist sweet shop like ours.
“We’ve got more than 120 jars of different sweets with things like gobstoppers and aniseed balls, and we are going to continue to add to it by listening to our customers when they come in to ask for things.”
Based in Earsham Street, Bungay, the building was once the business premises of Percy Trett barbers, but has been a house for the last 15 years.
Mr Parker said he was pleased to gain support from local residents along with the town and district council to turn it back into a shop, with the top floor of the building remaining as a flat.
He said: “We believe in Bungay and felt completely comfortable opening a shop that wasn’t a shop, even with the roadworks going on in the town at the moment.”
The sweet shop will be open seven days a week, from 9am to 5pm Monday to Saturday and 10am to 4pm on Sundays.
George added: “Many of the people who have visited the shop in the first few days since it opened with their children or grandchildren will remember the much loved Mint House sweet shop where the window needed a daily clean due to the number of little noses and sticky fingers pressed up against the glass looking at the sweets inside.
“We are hoping that it will be the same with A Sweet For You.”