'It was a massive leap' - Equestrian store celebrates tenth birthday

Ruth Chapman and Alison Hagan of Alison's Equestrian and Pet Supplies

Alison Hagen and Ruth Chapman of Alison's Equestrian and Pet Supplies - Credit: Alison's Equestrian and Pet Supplies

A mid Norfolk based equestrian and animal store is celebrating a decade of trading in a "challenging" year.

Alison's Equestrian and Pet Supplies in Dereham are celebrating 10 years of trading

Alison's Equestrian and Pet Supplies in Dereham are celebrating 10 years of trading - Credit: Alison's Equestrian and Pet Supplies

Alison's Equestrian and Pet Supplies, based on the Yaxham Road Industrial Estate in Dereham, is celebrating ten years of business on December 11.

Alison Hagen, 49, from Beetley, set up the firm, which sells a wide range of animal feeds and accessories, after leaving her job at Litcham School in 2010.

Alison Hagen, the owner of Alison's Equestrian and Pet Supplies in Dereham.

Alison Hagen, the owner of Alison's Equestrian and Pet Supplies in Dereham. - Credit: Alison's Equestrian and Pet Supplies

Mrs Hagen described the move to create her own business as a "massive leap" and said she never expected to be where she is today.

"I took a massive leap ten years ago and left my job at Litcham School, completely changing my career to start my own business," she said.


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"If you would have told me that in ten years' time we would be in this position, I would never have believed it."

Over the last ten years, the family-run store has gone from strength to strength, supplying food for animals across Norfolk and Europe.

Alison's Equestrian and Pet Supplies, based on the Yaxham Road Industrial Estate in Dereham are celebrating ten years of business on December 11.

Alison's Equestrian and Pet Supplies, based on the Yaxham Road Industrial Estate in Dereham are celebrating ten years of business on December 11. - Credit: Alison's Equestrian and Pet Supplies

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Back in 2015, the business had to move to a bigger unit as it was doing so well and needed more room for stock.

In recent years, the firm has seen a pick up in click and collect orders, with this year being no exception.

Mrs Hagen said: "We stayed open through the whole of this year as our business was essential as we fed animals.

"We didn't furlough any of our staff and made sure we were there to help people feed their horses, livestock and pets through the pandemic.

"We had people messaging us on Facebook asking us if we could send goods to France and Scotland and also if they could do click and collect or request delivery.

"We can't thank our customers enough for staying loyal to us, especially during the past year. We would not be here without them."

When asked about the secret to a successful business, Mrs Hagen said it was all down to customer service and experience.

"It doesn't matter whether they are spending £1 or £100, every customer should be treated the same way," she said.

"Even if you are having a bad day, you need to just put a smile on your face and give the customer your full attention."

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