Business Action | December 2019 / January 2020


December 2019 / January 2020 issue of the independent North Devon-based business magazine covering news about business and enterprise in Barnstaple, Bideford, Braunton, Chulmleigh, Combe Martin, Holsworthy, Ilfracombe, Lynmouth, Lynton, South Molton, Torrington, Woolacombe and more.

This issue includes the event guide for the BBxpo business exhibition and networking event in Bideford on Thursday 24 October 2019.

Business Action Plan and magazine subscribers receive priority access of new issues of Business Action on publication. Subscribe at


Helen Pedlar of Pedlars, Ilfracombe

1. What was your first job?

From about the age of five

my Dad had me in the shop

dusting and re-filling shelves!

But my very first paid job – at

£1.10 an hour! – was dressing

up as Bubbles the Bear at

Watermouth Castle theme park

meeting and greeting the visitors

at the entrance.

2. What is the best

business advice you’ve

ever received?

Always keep your staff happy.

They are the frontline of the

business and if they are happy

and content, then it shows

through to the customers

and the staff will always work

harder for you if you show

them you genuinely care.

Customer service is paramount.

If you go the extra

mile for the customer, the rest

will fall into place. Customers

always remember how much

you’ve helped them and return

business follows.

3. What do you enjoy most

about business?

Every single day is different

in here. Every day has its

own challenges and I learn

something new. I love the

shop being such a big part of

the community and seeing

so many generations pass

through. It’s a privilege.

4. What essential

technology could your

business never be without?

Pen and paper! We are old

school and still write lots of

lists and do paper orders. We

still hand write all our ledgers,

although the accountant tells

me we have to computerise

Each issue we put a North Devon business personality in the hot

seat and ask them 10 questions. This issue we asked Helen Pedlar of

Pedlars Home Hardware in Ilfracombe

very soon. We have all our

handwritten ledgers since

1860. Imagine if they had been

on floppy disk – we would

have no way of looking back at

our history.

5. Describe your business

management / style

Friendly and open. I like to

think that staff and customers

can come to me with anything.

I would never ask the staff

to do anything I wouldn’t do

Right Way HR Services

Safeguard your business

• Advice on all aspects of employment law

• Contracts of employment

• Staff handbook • HR policies

• Letters, templates and documents

Call Richard on 07825 090782


myself. I still mop the doorways

and the pavement every

morning with the staff, as we

all work together.

6. How do you go about

personal development?

I encourage learning through

the workplace. I like to include

the staff in meeting reps,

visiting trade shows and having

A deceptively small department

store, this shop is a

positive cornucopia of useful,

interesting, beautiful and

essential items.

Hardware, electricals,

china, gifts, gardening,

camping, outdoor leisure,

menswear and school

uniforms are all sold here.

The family business, dating

back 150 years and now in its

sixth generation, is part of the

fabric of the history of Ilfracombe.

Nowadays, the friendly

and helpful staff are still happy

to be of assistance and always

an input on the products we

sell. I like to see the staff get

excited about a new product.

Enthusiasm sells!

7. Is there anything about

yourself that you would like

to change?

My time management. There

never seems to be enough

hours in the day.

8. Social media: yes or no?

Preferred network?

Yes. We use Facebook and

Instagram to promote the shop.

We have found that this is really

helping us to put us out there

and show people who haven’t

shopped with us before the

wide variety of goods we stock.

9. How do you wind down

when not working?

To be honest, I never stop. My

shop is always on my mind, that

and an active seven-year-old.

I do like to make sure I take

at least one family holiday a

year abroad as I love travel and

the heat. It also makes sure I

can’t be called on.

I love gardening with my

son, Ollie. He loves the spring

when we can plant the veggies

and he’s in charge of making

sure we have a good crop.

10. Do you have a motto or

favourite quotation?

I don’t get tired of my work

because you can’t get tired of

something you love and enjoy.

You can never go wrong

when you have a great team to

work with.

Anyone for coffee?


prepared to go that extra mile

to ensure satisfaction with all

customers’ purchases.

As a proud member of the

national Home Hardware

group – named Britain’s Best

Wholesaler in 2017, 2018 and

2019 – prices remain competitive

compared with the large

national retailers.

From traditional to quirky

and modern, Pedlars is well

worth a visit for anyone living

in or visiting Ilfracombe.

■ ■ Details 01271 863509 or

8 business action | December 2019 / January 2020 |

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