A fancy for Lion Butterscotch Gums has led businessman Paul Fury to take over his favourite sweet shop in Lytham St Annes.
The 58-year-old would often call in to Sweet Memories, in St Annes Road West, for his fix of his treats on his way home from a job with BT.
His life changed after a conversation with the owner Andy Clark informing him he was looking to sell the business coincided with the chance of early retirement from BT. He made a successful offer for the business, taking it over in June 2013.
The father-of-two, who has four grandchildren, says: “I already loved the shop, I was a regular customer anyway. The important thing for me was not to try and change the shop too much, but enhance what it already did.
“What I loved the most about it was the authentic feel of a good old-fashioned shop where all the sweets were displayed in Victorian style glass jars on old wooden shelves.
“The first job I gave myself was chief taster and I vowed that I would try absolutely everything and I’ve just about managed it.
“I hired a graphic designer to create a new logo which was incorporated into new signage above the shop and then added to staff shirts and overalls. I then created new labels with the logo on to each of the 800 plus glass jars.
“Most of the sweets we sell we source locally but we also import sweets from all over the world including USA, Iceland, Scandinavia, Spain, Italy and Belgium to name a few.
“We also manufacture some of our own sweets on a regular basis. The previous owner made his own fudge and we’ve carried that on and increased the range of flavours to around 30, always looking for something new to try.
“We also make our own salted caramels and salted liquorice caramels which have proved to be extremely popular. One day we’ll get round to finishing our e-commerce website but we already fulfil a steady supply of orders by telephone and email.
“For most of the year we also sell ice cream which is supplied to us by both Mrs Dowson and Wallings. Catherine Walling from The Pudding House in Cockerham also supplies us with a fabulous range of hand-made truffles and novelty chocolates.
“Other things we’ve added to the shop include Shmoo milk shakes, which have proved to be very popular, along with the old favourite Slush Puppie.
“We sell soft drinks, with a variety of American Sodas alongside the more traditional Fentimans bottled drinks and a range of cordials by Mr Fitzpatricks, home of the famous Lancashire Temperance Inn.
“We carry a large selection of sugar free cakes, biscuits, chocolate bars and sweets and a small selection of dairy free chocolate.
“We’re very conscious of people’s dietary requirements and are in the process of cataloguing gluten free sweets along with those suitable for both vegetarians and vegans.
“For the holiday makers we carry a range of Blackpool rock as well as making sweet hampers and personalised sweet jars.
“Lion ceased production of my favourite Butterscotch Gum last year but my other great passion is liquorice and we currently stock 85 different types of the stuff from around the world.
“We have a Connoisseur Corner for liquorice where we add a new sweet every couple of weeks. The latest addition to this range is a Belgian Liquorice called Agents De Change. It is a liquorice and violet sweet which is very similar to Parma Violets. We actively encourage customers to try things as we’d hate anyone to go away with something they didn’t enjoy.
“The main principle we have for trying any new sweet is that if I like it, we’ll try it because that way, if we can’t sell it, it won’t go to waste.”