Name: Allister and Claire Fugill

Business name: Balloons For All Occasions

Opening times: Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 9am until 3.30pm. Available on Facebook and at outside market hours

When did you open your business and why?

We STARTED back in 2002 – we had some gas and balloons left behind from a business someone else in the family had and they didn’t want them anymore, so we took it over from them.

We ran our business based at home for a while before we moved into the market. Overall we’re coming up to about 18 years in business now.

The decision to move to the market was something we took when a space came up at the market, so we thought we’d give it a go. We started in one small area of the market and then expanded that when the shop nextdoor became available as well, so we turned it into a much bigger space.

Why in this location?

It’s WHERE we live and at the time, our children were little, so Claire was looking for something to do a few days a week, so we got it going and helped each other with it.

Tell us about your business

We CATER for weddings, parties, engagements, anniversaries, christenings, baby showers, hen parties etc. Of course some of these things aren’t running at the moment, but other things are.

We help as much as we can to ensure people get what they need.

It’s a balloon shop, but we have decorations as well, so if you visit the shop you actually find all kinds of things for different parties and decorations.

We have a fairly wide customer base and have built connections with various restaurants and hotels within the area since we started.

These things do take time – you have to be persistent and patient.

We are very keen on listening to our customers and providing them with a service they want to have and that they can’t get when they just do something online for example.

People often come in for a talk.

Sometimes they don’t know what they actually want or need.

That’s when we can try to help people and suggest what might be a good idea.

What is your proudest moment?

One thing I find nice is that we have had customers over the years come in for balloons for the birth of their child, and then their christening and all their birthdays.

Now some of them are getting married and have children of their own.

So I think for me it’s the way you connect with people and their families and you get to know them and they keep coming back to you because they like the service here and they know us well.

Any strange requests?

We ARE sometimes asked to decorate vehicles and other things which is something a little different to what we expect to do normally.

We always try to help people out in the best way we can.