I use many suppliers. It is something the modern world relies on. I try where ever possible to support local traders. It isn’t always the case when you’re searching for that authentic, elusive spice, herb or utensil.
Shopping local means you get to know the people with whom you are dealing. You make that relationship, that bond, and friendship. This leads to being able to trust their opinion – their discretion.
One such supplier is Gareth Hurley. Gareth with his family own & operate “Harbour View Gifts & Sweets”. Over the years I have observed this business evolve from one end of the town, operating in a small shop with quite a good online presence. Eventually two further moves later, based in it new premises in the middle of the main drag of Burry Port.
I used to browse the e-commerce pages. Viewing pop culture memorabilia. I bought a couple of those vintage tin signs as wall hangings. Somewhere along the line, the indicator stalk was hit and the foot went down firmly down on the accelerator pedal; the business seemed to take off!
Gareth has to be one of the hardest working people in business. I know that’s a contradiction – every one in business is hardworking, there’s little choice. I am impressed though by not only the hours he puts in, but the knowledge of product & stock, and his seemingly, indestructible sense of humour. As my mamgu would say “he’s a tonic!”
So, what does he do? That’s getting harder to answer. It seems very day something new is being added to the stock room. Let’s begin with gifts. I will gloss over this term because there’s everything to be had. Welsh themed products from brooches to ornaments. Mugs and cups of every kind including SA16 (Burry Port) and of course Love Spoons. I preferred gift for Santes Dwynwen’s Day.
Toys and puzzles by the bucketful. Jigsaws, colouring books, inflatables including paddling pools. Some arts and crafts supplies, and even sim cards. A lot has been added during the CORONA virus pandemic which includes cleaning materials and the like. Greeting cards for every occasion, again with a local flavour. Party balloons and bunting to make your own 5th Avenue ticker tape parade.
I have bought from all these ranges in the past. Gareth however, is my ‘goto guy’ for confectionary. Whether it is the chocolate he gets (which is by the way great to eat as is or as a cake ingredient), or the myriad of candies used as decoration.
He is my pusher for that particular brand of non-alcoholic anti-freeze I drink. Before anymore ex-teachers have coronaries; it Barr’s Bubblegumade. A blue coloured soft drink which tastes good, especially mixed with ouzo, and is sugar free.
Sweets, gifts, toys, memorabilia, household supplies, ice creams – a lot of catch all categories but what makes this business stand out?
I suppose I must say presentation. An example would be last weekend. Candy hampers put together and delivered for enjoyment whilst watching the rugby. Christmas hampers delivered by Father Christmas himself.
I stated earlier how in awe I am of his product knowledge and what goes into hampers and bundles.
My orders usually via Messenger, take the form of “Gareth I need … to do …, the budget is … and I need it by…” The knock on the backdoor signals deliver has been made – distanced of course. That’s the business relationship I have with Gareth, one of trust or synergy – we understand one another. That’s shopping local – that’s priceless.