At St Eval Candle Company we are proud to partner with so many wonderful retailers. During these difficult times, we have decided to shine a light on those who have adapted rapidly to continue providing us all with much-needed comforts.
Abigail’s Delicatessen and Lifestyle is a family run business in Ingatestone Essex. Born out of a love of food and beautiful things in life their Deli is open daily serving delicious breakfast, lunches and dinners. Whilst the lifestyle store is open 6 days a week stocked full of relaxing candles, gorgeous jewellery, beautiful children’s toys as well as bespoke gift boxes. Sadly Covid-19 has meant a temporary closure of the lifestyle store yet Abigail’s have managed to add much of their stock to their website for online ordering as well as taking orders over the phone to be sent out for delivery or collection from their Deli which remains open.
Why did you decide to open? Where has it grown from? What is your passion?
‘10 years ago, my husband had the idea to open the Deli, and right across the road, there was a gift shop. Luckily, we managed to say the right thing to the right person and found out it was about to go up for sale so we bought it! I worked in fashion and retail for over 10 years so it seemed a natural progression to open Abigail’s lifestyle, I’ve always been very passionate about interiors so as well as candles we sell home décor and furniture, jewellery, children’s toys and birth gifts. We’ve always done well and had a lot of loyal customers then a year ago we closed for a week to refurbish and get an extension which was followed by a huge relaunch, since then we have been really busy and going from strength to strength. We are an all in one shop, there is a gift for everyone!’
What sets you apart from other shops on the high street?
‘We’re really proactive in finding new things all the time, I’m lucky we are so busy, we can turn stock over quickly. We like to keep things fresh, new and exciting, and use social media to keep people engaged. We gift wrap free of charge and like to build relationships with customers, if I get something in, I know someone will like, I’ll call and let them know. For example, one of our regular customers buys Inspiritus so we make sure to always have one set aside for her. It is about having a good rapport with them and making them feel special. We are on a really small high street, there are other shops, but we’ve managed to capture the essence of what people are looking for. Everybody can come in and buy something.’
What was your reason for choosing St. Eval Candles?
‘Actually it was one of my customers who asked me to order Bay & Rosemary Candles. She said:
‘’Order loads and I will buy it all. I will keep your account open if you order from them because I will buy everything.’’
I like to commit to a brand and a look; you have to have variety and give people the choice. I will always invest in companies that invest in me. Customers are always looking for UK made products and they like the natural look and price point. It’s an easily accessible way to have something that looks and smells nice without costing the earth. They really do sell themselves. Personally, I love everything St Eval Bay & Rosemary and we often have Citronella burning in the summer when we have the doors open.’
How is St Eval displayed, used and enjoyed, how does it complement your stock?
‘As St Eval Candles and St Eval Diffusers are so lovely and neutrally designed they complement all of my other stock so they get rotated a lot but you will generally find them in a bespoke unit right next to the greetings cards – where no one can miss them! Anyone who comes in and buys your candles will always come back and buy them again. Our bestsellers are Bay & Rosemary and Tranquillity Tins, at Christmas we always sell a lot of the Orange and Cinnamon Tins as well. They buy them for cosiness and to create a lovely atmosphere at home. We gift wrap our products in 100% recyclable brown paper and use Abigail’s cream ribbon as an extra lovely touch. We have also started doing gift hampers, for example, we have a ‘For Him’ box which includes the Sandalwood Tin Candle.’
What are your thoughts for the future?
‘Since the relaunch, the shop has been a huge success. What all the recent changes have made me realise is how big the internet potential really is so I will look further into that. However, retail is important for so many reasons, not just the economy. It is great for human interaction and people that are lonely. Going out to the shops gives people purpose and helps build the community.’
Thank you to Abigail’s Lifestyle for their time, wonderful business story and continued loyalty.