'We feel very proud' - Ipswich jewellers celebrate 25 years
PUBLISHED: 13:08 08 October 2019 | UPDATED: 13:08 08 October 2019
Chris and Angela Hardman have been going the extra mile for 25 years.
This is why their independent jewellery store is much more than just a shop - it's an Ipswich institution.
Berridges, in Dial Lane, has been helping people of the town celebrate and commemorate life's greatest moments since it opened in 1994.
While the shop specialises in fine antique jewellery, diamonds and pearls, its services and popularity expands far beyond that.
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Often the first thing you notice when you walk into the shop is the smell of fresh coffee emanating from the restaurant upstairs.
And this element of the business has in turn created its own army of loyal patrons and regulars.
"In retail, the jewellery shop is the hardest place to get people in the door," explained Mr Hardman.
"The restaurant brings people in and creates a lot of buzz in the shop, it breaks down barriers and creates an ambiance.
"We feel very proud to be honest - reaching 25 years is quite something for any small business and in a big achievement, especially in this climate."
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In the quarter of a century in which the store has been operating , the high street has changed almost beyond recognition.
However, Mr Hardman believes the firm's focus on customer service and specialist knowledge has allowed it to continue to thrive.
He added: "The whole high street has certainly changed, fortunately for us it's not that romantic to buy an engagement ring off Amazon.
"But we have very good customer service which is so important in this climate. We will always go the extra mile. As an independent business the buck stops with us.
"When people come to us it us usually because they are celebrating a special occasion, say an engagement or a ruby wedding anniversary, we enjoy sharing that moment with them.
"We have even had couples on bended knee in the shop."
With 25 years of success in the bag the couple thanked all their loyal customers and are hoping to carry on for another 25.
Mr Hardman added: "I may be quite old by then but as long as we do what we do well I think we will be just fine."