With a background in web design and e-commerce trading, Juliette and her husband Wyn who is a Chartered Accountant were no strangers to running a business. Looking for retail premises however was not top of their to-do list. That is, not until Siop Pentre in the nearby village of Llanrhaeadr, Ruthin came up for lease!
Siop Pentre is a very busy place and like most of the surviving village shops is the hub of the local community. As regular customers, this appeared to be a dream business opportunity for the couple who immediately started the ball rolling in the pursuit of taking over the lease. But things didn’t go quite according to plan, as Juiette explains.
“We were approved a loan from a high street bank right at the start of the project. With that hurdle cleared apparently, we went ahead with sorting out different aspects of the business, including the Post Office application. However, by the time we were ready to go, the bank pulled out citing our dispute over an unpaid bill with a mobile phone company as reason enough to refuse our application as it had adversely affected our credit rating.”
Dented but nor deterred, Juliette and Wyn searched the internet and came across the Start-Up Loan Company.
Juliette again: “We filled in a very simple online form and were immediately contacted by Rob Arlington, Financial Services Officer at Antur Teifi. He asked a few questions about the business, we filled in a form or two and sent him our business plan. The money was in our bank account a week later! The process could not have been easier, and we ended up with a bigger loan at a much lower interest rate, as well as business mentoring for one whole year of which we intend taking full advantage.”
The couple are now in a position to not only take over the running of the shop and Post Office but also to further develop their passion for promoting Welsh produce. Using their expertise in e-commerce and utilising the busy shop as a hub they plan to sell Welsh foods and luxury hampers both locally and internationally.
So what at the time felt like a disaster, ended up being for the best after all!