A Wooler woman has been rewarded for her loyalty as she takes over the shop where she first started working as a 13-year-old.
Sarah Wood has just turned 21, but it was eight years ago that she began a Saturday job in the well-known Good Life Shop in the High Street.
On Saturday, she will take over the running of the store, although the previous owner David Girdwood is going to stay working there for a couple of years as part of the transition before retiring.
“He’s been there 15 years and he knows how it runs better than I do so it’s nice to have him staying on,” Sarah said.
She is very grateful to David for giving her the opportunity, which was sparked initially by a throwaway comment.
Earlier this year, Sarah said something like ‘I would love a shop like this’ and David replied, ‘you can have it if you want’.
“David is a really well-liked person,” Sarah said, adding that it’s another bonus to him staying on at the shop for a while: “People can slowly get used to the idea of him not being there!”
When Sarah started at the shop in her early teens, she had no particular plans for a career in retail and even after doing a business degree at university, she didn’t expect The Good Life Shop to be her first venture, but it has all fallen into place.
Ahead of the relaunch on Saturday, when there will be canapés, Pimms and offers, she has been putting her own stamp on the store, going in over the past few evenings to paint, while the shop will be closed today and tomorrow for new flooring to be laid.
However, in terms of what’s sold, Sarah said: “It’s going to carry on the same because it’s what people want. I will get some new things in – I’m going to get more confectionery – but you don’t change something that’s already popular.”