Family-run Sweet Home Alabama to celebrate its 9th birthday

Sunderland’s Sweet Home Alabama shop is to celebrate its ninth birthday on Saturday, February 8.

The shop is a family run business founded by husband and wife Martin and Joan O’Neill.

Their next aim is to reach the shop’s 10th anniversary by fighting the recession.

Mrs O’Neil said: “Since Primark moved from Fawcett Street we’ve not got the same footfall. But we still have our regular customers.”

Joan O'Neill is selling sweets to SR News.
Joan O’Neill is selling sweets to SR News.

Sweet Home Alabama, which moved from High Street West, has been situated in Fawcett Street, near the ex building of Primark, since last August.

Mr O’Neill said: “The recession is affecting us and we had tough trading last year.

“When I recently walked through Primark, I noticed they now sell Haribos, and so do Marks and Spencer and BHS, so there is no wonder people aren’t going to sweet shops. Unfortunately, my family will be unemployed if our business fails.

“We are a specialist retailer, selling traditional sweets, we have a high level of customer service and have built up great relationships with local customers.”

One customer recently bought a bunch of flowers to thank Martin and Joan’s daughter for giving them a hand with thier shopping.

Joan added: “When you want proper sweets, you go to proper sweet shop.”

The sweet shop is open from Monday to Friday, from 9am-8pm; Saturday 9am-7pm and Sunday 10am-6pm.

You can find more information here.

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