A Sheffield landlady has swapped wine for wine gums and opened a sweet shop. Colin Drury went for pick n mix...
For 26 years Janet Peckett has been serving revellers out for a few sherberts. From now on, though, she’ll be serving youngsters out for sherbert lemons.
The well-known Sheffield landlady has swapped wine for wine gums and lager for love hearts after giving up running The Porter Brook pub in Ecclesall Road - to set up an old-fashioned sweet shop just round the corner.
“How do the customers compare?” she ponders. “Well, there’s more children come in here but they can be just as demanding.”
The shop - called Evermore and opened in Sharrow Vale Road this weekend - is a retro sort of place. Wooden units are filled with jars of bubble gum and cherry lips, peardrops and sour fizz. There are tubs of lollipops under the counter and bottle of sarsaparilla on shelves. The only concession to modernity is the number of blue-coloured treats. “They told us at the warehouse blue sweets are all the rage with kids these days,” notes Janet.
Opening such a place after more than two decades behind bars might seem like an unusual move. But it’s a (sweet) dream come true for the 51-year-old mother-of-two. She’s wanted to have her own sugary shop since she was a schoolgirl. It’s just she took the scenic route, via five Sheffield boozers, first.
“There’s a vague similarity,” she says. “You’re giving people a treat in both.”
Janet and husband Russell first took over The (now gone) Bradway, in Bradway, back in 1988 and have since run The Stag in Sharrow, The Place in Broomhill, and The Psalter in Brincliffe before taking over The Porter Brook in 2008. Russell, 52, will stay as landlord there.
“A chap who owns a lot of the shops in Sharrow Vale Road has been drinking in The Porter Brook for years, and I’ve been pestering him that if one comes up for rent I’d like to set up a sweet shop there,” says Janet who is originally from Gleadless and now lives in Greystones Road. “He came in a while back and said there’s one free if you want it.”
And the area’s entire community of independent shops have been keen to help out.
Butcher Ralph Thickets gave her some retro measuring scales, while Westside Motors resprayed them to look good as new.
Oh, and the chap from Sharrow Vale Dental Care, also Sharrow Vale Road, has been in: “He said ‘I’d love to wish you luck but I’m a dentist’,” laughs Janet. “I said ‘Don’t worry, we have a non-sugar range too’.”