Independent shops are the backbone of our community
SHEPTON Mallet is full of great independent shops, and behind each is a trader dedicated to bringing something new to the town.
To celebrate these champions of the local economy and help promote the town, the Shepton Mallet Journal is launching a new feature: Shop of the Week.
Journal editor Bede MacGowan said: "It's well-documented that these are not easy times for high streets across the UK, but here in Shepton we are better placed than many to fight back.
"The town is crammed with top independent outlets selling some unique, high-quality products, and we are delighted to help promote that fact with this new feature.
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"If you haven't been to town for a while, why not check it out for yourself – you might be surprised."
Our first shop of the week is Dredge and Male, the "Aladdin's cave" of Shepton Mallet located in the High Street.
Dredge and Male is run by brothers Colin and Alan Wilson. Their father took over the shop in 1977, when it was located beneath the Conservative Club and moved to its current premises in 1981.
Colin said: "You've got to experience it. Aladdin's cave is the most-used quote. If we haven't got it we can get it. We stock household goods from paint to wickerwork, everything. We have a massive range of goods.
"We get lots of locals here because we've been here such a long time. We have a loyal client base and business is alright, but not as good as it could be. I think the new residents maybe go to the supermarket, people think of us last instead of first like they used to.
"Local trading is a staple of a town and once it's gone, it's gone. It's down to customers to start using it because it's the backbone of the community."
Reviewers have described the shop as: "Really helpful and stocked to the hilt" and "A great place to go if you are doing some decorating or are looking for an interesting gift. It is one of those shops which it is hard to say exactly what it is: not quite a modern DIY store, not quite an iron mongers, and much more than a gift shop."