New sweet shop brings ‘old fashion favourites’ to town centre
- Credit: ELLIOTT PAPWORTH
A traditional sweet shop is proving to be a hit in Mildenhall after selling more than 70 kilos of sweets in the first week, having to restock just hours after opening.
Elliott Papworth, 26, had always dreamt of owning his own sweet shop, but was worried to take the plunge.
Now he has opened ‘The SweetBox’ in the town’s Market Place, transforming half of his gift shop into every sweet lovers dream.
The shop is piled high with the classic sweets, such as bon bons, hard-boiled sweets, sherbets and other old-fashioned favourites.
There is also an American sweet corner, which Mr Papworth said has been popular with members of the RAF base, who have found it difficult to get their home favourites.
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Speaking of his new venture, Mr Papworth said: “It has been much busier than I expected and it has been well-received by residents.
“I had planned to restock every month, but instead I have already been back to the wholesalers the day after we opened.”
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During lockdown, Mr Papworth was forced to close his gift shop from March to June and moved his business online.
He stocked prepackaged sweets as well as his usual gift range and noticed how popular they were.
“Most people call me stupid for choosing this time to start a new business,” he said.
“But the sweets were selling really well online and you just can’t get some of them in supermarkets.”
Mr Papworth said his initial concern was the volume of sweets he would need to sell to make his business viable.
However, as he has opened the sweet shop within the GiftBox, there is less risk involved.
The GiftBox has been growing since it opened five years ago and is now covering the costs of rent and his livelihood.
He said: “Obviously it is worrying, especially if we have to close down again, but we are the only sweet shop in Mildenhall and I have seen them thriving in other town centres.”
Instead of attracting just children, Mr Papworth said his main customers have been adults, who have been excited to “go back to their childhood”.
He said many customers have told him the SweetBox is “what Mildenhall needs”.
The SweetBox is open at 29c Market Place, from 10am to 4.30pm Monday to Thursday, and closes at 3pm on Fridays and 4pm on Saturdays.