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Business bounces back after burglary
9:45am Thursday 1st November 2012 in News
GIFT shop owner Steve Farrington didn’t let burglars get the better of him after they struck at his shop.
He decided to expand his operation — despite having thousands of pounds worth of goods stolen.
Now he runs an ice cream parlour alongside a gift shop and cafe, and uses his Prestwich business for a host of community activities.
Mr Farrington suffered a massive blow in February when his shop in Bury New Road traded as Ultrabrands, selling a range of gifts. He said: “Three weeks after I opened the store, we had a break-in and more than £20,000 worth of goods were stolen. We did manage to recover 80 per cent of the stock, but this was a major setback from both a financial and inconvenience aspect.
“We carried on with optimism, as the local people of Prestwich loved the goods we sold. But the numbers coming through the doors were not enough to maintain the business and, having agreed a three-year lease, I had to fight to stay open.”
Mr Farrington merged the gift shop with a cafe and three months ago rebranded the store as Prestwich Ice Cream Parlour (PIPs).
He added: “The local community loves the store and business is increasing. Although I haven’t taken a wage for the last five months, I still remain optimistic that the business could be okay. I’m getting new customers all the time. We cater for 26 seats and take party bookings.”
PIPs has become a hub for the community with Spotify Music and free wi-fi. He added: “PoT-Art-O will be arranging and supervising children’s pottery painting, birthday parties and also painting workshops.”
The parlour hosts free crochet classes on Thursdays from noon to 2.30pm and after-school children’s sand art sessions on Fridays 3pm-5.30pm. Cake decoration sessions are also planned.