Fresh start for Dereham business after 15-year stint in town centre
PUBLISHED: 08:40 20 November 2019 | UPDATED: 08:40 20 November 2019
A business is looking to new beginnings after moving out of the building where it began trading almost 15 years ago.
Maple Aquatics opened on Wellington Road, Dereham, in 2005, and went on to introduce hundreds of people to the wonderful world of fish.
The family-run company developed a reputation over the years for its level of knowledge and service, and is one of the few remaining specialist high street retailers in the Dereham area.
But after 14 years situated a matter of yards from the centre of town, the decision was taken earlier this year to seek pastures new in a different location.
Chris High, who runs the business alongside his wife, Becci, says the move to South Green in Toftwood has so far paid dividends.
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"The old place was dull, it was dark - we just couldn't work like that and it was time to move on," said Mr High, 42.
"Of course it's sad to leave because we started up with nothing there, but sometimes you just have to move with the times."
Mrs High, 37, added: "Things are going well so far. This is a much better location than the old shop because we get a lot of passing trade here.
"We found that, where we were based in Dereham, there wasn't a lot of footfall and not a lot to draw people down to that end of town."
Maple Aquatics' move saw it become the latest town centre business to close or depart.
Last year the New Look store in Nelson's Place shut its doors for the final time, while the Sports Direct branch on Wright's Walk closed down in March.
Both shop premises were filled by national retailers, but questions have been raised over Dereham's high street pedigree.
"That end of town - in our eyes - is pretty much dead now," said Mr High. "I think where we are now is the new town, with Roy's, Tesco, Homebase and everything else.
"The internet's great but we tend not to sell online because the products you can get here in the shop are niche. There's no one else around here doing this sort of thing."