When the chips were down inspirational Chris and Matt got going

Business couple outside store

Chris, left and Matt - Credit: Submitted

Inspirational Chris Palin has turned adversity into opportunity and started his own business.

Chris lost his job as a store manager in the retail sector during the start of the Covid pandemic.

After struggling for a few months trying to find any new work he got talking to Terry and Jenny Hubbard., then owners of  a pet supply business.

Their business, on the Kingskerswell industrial estate at Aller Vale buildings in Moor Park Road, was on the market as they were looking to downsize to a smaller store.

Terry provided Chris with a lot of information. "Due to the climate of the job market I couldn’t foresee myself getting any employment in the short term future so I created a business plan based on the information Terry had provided to see how I could use my 14 years of retail experience to further the business potential," said Chris.

His partner, Matt Goldsmith, would often spend a lot of time at the business and even help out on Saturdays.

"I felt with Matt's knowledge on the products and customers along with his extensive work history in the hospitality sector, together we could expand the business and maintain its good reputation that Terry and Jenny had worked hard to secure," said Chris.

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An offer was made to buy the business which was accepted but Chris added: "I spent a few months working alongside Jenny who taught me everything I needed to know about the products, who buys what and the day-to-day routine she has.

"During this time I was busy in the background talking to suppliers new and old to ensure we were good to go once the business had changed hands."

He also started working on a name for the business and quickly settled on  'Palin and Way Pet supplies'.

He said: "I wanted to pay tribute to both sides of my family who had supported me physically and financially to secure the business. 'Palin' coming from my mother's side of the family and 'Way' from my fathers. Sadly, my mother's parents had recently passed away and I wanted to make sure the name was never forgotten."

The takeover deal went through  -  only for lockdown to strike again. Life was far from easy.

But Chris said: "Both myself and Matt worked hard to best ensure we had good stock levels and could meet customer demands during the busiest part of the year. The customer feedback was great and we were proud of what we accomplished."

They redecorated and rearranged the shop to increase sales space and ensure customers were still able to feel safe and socially distance.

A delivery service and bringing in new lines of stock are part of the future. Chris adds: "Our long term goals include click and collect/click and deliver using our website which is under construction, as well as expansion/acquisition of another retail site."