The Joys of Shopkeeping

mary-sm There are some who think working in a shop is a poor profession, but I have to say that the hours I manage to spend in our own shops are some of the best hours of my week. It might seem obvious, but we wouldn’t exist without our customers, and it’s good to constantly come back to that fact. It is they who keep us in business, pay our salaries, make the place lively, and decide by their purchasing decisions and suggestions what it is that we do. Making our ice cream would be meaningless without people to enjoy it, and their enjoyment creates such a buzz for me.

There is a social aspect as well, as one has the opportunity to meet so many new people. In just one example, this morning, I spent an hour or so talking to the food editor of the Vegetarian Times (photo above), a woman who loves music, loves food, lives in Brittany, and has a wealth of interesting viewpoints and information. With people like her involved, no wonder that publication has such fanatical supporters.

Last night, I wandered into our Dingle shop for an ice cream with my partner and the baby, and we had so much fun talking two sets of customers, both of whom remembered us when we first opened in 2000, that our walk went by the wayside (not that anyone, even the baby, minded that much).

In these times, when there’s so much financial gloom and negativity about the place, there is no tonic like spending time with customers – seeing things through their eyes, listening to their feedback on what we do, and remembering, through their joy with the ice cream, why we started this business in the first place.

2 thoughts on “The Joys of Shopkeeping

  1. I have to agree with you. I was in your shop in Dingle on Monday and if anyone is in any doubt about the professionalism and skill involved in being a good sales person in a shop they should watch the blond girl behind the counter in action (not sure of her name as she didn’t have a name badge). She was the best sales person I’ve ever seen in action. Anyone who looked into the shop from outside was called in, welcomed, offered samples of ice cream and almost always left with a cone. It was very similar to the type of sales pitch you get in shops in the US but unlike most shop assistants in the US she seemed to care about the product and didn’t push it beyond what was necessary to get a sale. There is a skill in maximising sales in a shop and she’s certainly got that skill.

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