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Why couple left London to open dream shop in seaside town

PUBLISHED: 11:30 11 April 2019 | UPDATED: 14:01 11 April 2019

Jacqui Thompson helping Dudley choose a coat  Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown

Jacqui Thompson helping Dudley choose a coat Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown

Archant

A pair of dog-lovers have swapped their high-flying lives in London to open up a pet boutique for the canine community of Aldeburgh.

Gary and Jacqui Thompson have opened a new shop called Wag and Bone in Aldeburgh,  which specialises in dog products   Picture: Sarah Lucy BrownGary and Jacqui Thompson have opened a new shop called Wag and Bone in Aldeburgh, which specialises in dog products Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown

Gary and Jacqui Thompson have visited Aldeburgh on holiday several times with friends – and it had always been their dream to relocate and start up their very own pet shop.

So when the opportunity arose – and as places in Aldeburgh are hard to come by – the couple jumped at the chance, leaving their London lives behind for a new venture in one of Suffolk’s most popular seaside towns.

Fittingly named Wag and Bone, the small unit is kitted out with everything from ethically-sourced natural foods, leads, collars, outfits, beds, grooming products and a whole host of accessories and gifts.

Speaking of the new venture, Mr Thompson said: “Aldeburgh is dog central, with everywhere from pubs to cafes allowing dogs on the premises.

Gary and Jacqui Thompson have opened a new shop called Wag and Bone in Aldeburgh,  which specialises in dog products   Picture: Sarah Lucy BrownGary and Jacqui Thompson have opened a new shop called Wag and Bone in Aldeburgh, which specialises in dog products Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown

“The place is dog mad – there are probably more of them here than people.”

The shop, which can be found between Quba and the pharmacy, is the only one of its kind in the town – with dog-owners previously having to travel miles to get items for their four-legged friends.

Mr Thompson said: “Customers keep saying that they don’t know why no-one has done this before.

“The feedback has been amazing so far and it’s been lovely getting to know people and just chatting to them in the shop – we want the experience to be very personal and warm.”

Jacqui Thompson helping Dudley choose a coat  Picture: Sarah Lucy BrownJacqui Thompson helping Dudley choose a coat Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown

Wag and Bone has no relation to the British singer Rag ‘n’ Bone Man, Mr Thompson said.

“It’s been hard work and it’s very different to anything we’ve ever done before, but we’ve had the idea for years so it’s great to see it finally come together,” said the 53-year-old.

“We’ve enjoyed every minute so far and hope that it will be rewarding in the future.”

The shop is open seven days a week from 9.30 until 5pm – and hopes to be a big success with residents, visitors and holiday-goers.

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