Name: Tony Lowry

Business: Pickles Gift Shop and Pickles Coffee House, Church Street, Oswestry

Opening Hours: 9.30am until 5.15pm Monday to Saturday

When did you open and why?

The shop opened in 1987. I took it over in 2013, primarily for two reasons because having spent a career working in a big corporate organisation I wanted to do something different and I wanted to be in Oswestry.

Why in this location?

I WANTED to work where I live after many years of commuting to far flung cities in England.

I also felt that – and still feel that – Oswestry town centre, in retail terms, does have a future. It is difficult at the moment, but I do think that Oswestry has something going on.

Tell us about your business?

THE business downstairs is greeting cards and gifts.

The greeting cards take up most of the floor space and I try and offer the better-quality greeting cards, nice quality paper, different types of cards and types of cards you can’t get anywhere else from small suppliers around the country.

I try to get gifts that complement the greeting cards; for example the Peter Rabbit range and Peter Rabbit cards. I then do lots of rural gifts, with rural scenes on and Lily Flame candles and Joma Jewellery.

Upstairs is the coffee shop. We like to think it looks like a homely little farmhouse making simple homemade food.

What is your proudest moment in business?

I FEEL very proud and also humble about the job we do in retail because sometimes in retail you can bring a bit of pleasure to a person’s life.

A lady wanted a bauble for her one-year-old child who had been born with some issues, so it was sad, but we did a special bauble and it was so nice to see somebody so happy about something we had done – the thought of us not being here and that she couldn’t have had that and the happiness that comes with it. It is simple and humble but it’s true.

We do this for local people. We are family-run so there are no great gestures that make me proud. Sometimes it’s the little things throughout the working day.

Any strange requests?

I CAN honestly say no because when you’re trying to respond to what customers want the important thing is to embrace everything a customer has asked for.

Sometimes it can be weird and wonderful. You will find when you start working with a customer you can actually begin to lock in what they actually want.

Every now and again you find you are in a position from when you couldn’t help, and now you can. One example would be when a lady came in and asked if we had anything with a koala bear on and I was a bit lost.

In the end we did a personalised gift from the man I work with who makes personalised gifts with the edging of a koala bear. So, we did actually come up with something.