Monday, 18 October 2021

Gift shop owner sells up

THE owner of a Goring gift shop is selling the business after more than a decade in the village.

THE owner of a Goring gift shop is selling the business after more than a decade in the village.

Jeanne Hunter, who owns Inspiration at The Arcade in High Street, is returning to her native South Africa due to an illness in the family.

The business sells greetings cards, gifts and toys as well as chocolates and old-fashioned sweets.

Mrs Hunter, who has doubled the turnover since she took over in 2005, says she’ll only sell to someone who will keep the shop at the heart of the community. For the past five years, the 40-year-old has organised Goring’s late-night Christmas shopping event and hosted a Santa’s grotto.

She also sells tickets for concerts, plays and other events in the village.

Mrs Hunter is in talks with several would-be buyers from the area and has already turned down a bidder from London who wanted to turn it into a pound shop.

The mother-of-two, who previously worked in marketing, is also selling the neighbouring Inspired Crafts arts shop, which she launched at the former Hamiltons Hair Studio unit in August. She hopes to move out by the end of the year.

Mrs Hunter said: “I’m only selling for personal reasons — it’s not something I’d be considering otherwise.

“I love this community because I know all my customers by name and I’ve seen their children grow up. I also get on incredibly well with my fellow shopkeepers so I’m going to miss everyone.

“Lots of people have been coming in to wish me well. Some people have been worried that it’s closing but I’ve assured them that I’m selling it as a going concern.

“One person told me this was the ‘cornerstone of retail in Goring’, which I thought was really lovely, and another joked that they were going to launch a petition to keep me here.

“This business is like a third child to me and it’s a vital aspect of village life. I’d love to sell it to someone local who understands the needs of a small, close-knit community like Goring.”

Prospective buyers should call Mrs Hunter on (01491) 873019.

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