David says a sweet farewell
When a teenage David Brambles ran his first market stall four decades ago, he had no idea of the successful sweet emporium he would own today.
The then 17-year-old buried the living room of his parents’ home in Horbury under piles of confectionery, as he set about launching his business venture.
David, now 61, said: “Apparently, when I was little I told my parents all I wanted to be was a shop keeper and it proved to be the case.
“Going back in the late 70s and 80s the market was the place to be. Nobody else sold sweets, no supermarkets or anything, you had to go to a special sweet shop.”
David opened the market stall while he was studying for his A-levels at Ossett school.
He said : “My form tutor saw my marks going downhill and asked why?
“I said I had been doing the markets and actually I had been earning more doing that than he was teaching.”
He left sixth form to take up the market work full-time.
He said: “I had worked for my father in a bingo hall and we had connections with the whole sale trade. I think the market work all started when we bought some misshapes cheap and sold them on for profit. From there, it blossomed.
“The first year was hard but after that it really took off.”
David, who now lives in Flockton, grafted on the stall for more than 10 years, before he purchased his first shop in Market Way around 33 years ago.
He later moved premises to Teall Street in 2003, where Davids Sweet sits today.
He said: “Lots of things have changed over the years. A few years ago, I took on a Saturday girl and her mum was actually a Saturday girl for me when I was on the markets.
“A few loyal customers are now bringing in their children and grandchildren.
“But funnily enough, I started with traditional loose sweets all those years ago, and although lots of trends like Mars Bars and Aeros have been popular in the meantime, it’s those traditional loose sweets that are in demand again.
“Liquorice Allsorts have always been my favourite though.”
After a retail career spanning across more than four decades, David has hung up his sweet-shop apron for the final time and begun his retirement.
He said: “The aspect I have enjoyed most is the people, chatting face to face with both new and returning customers.
“I will miss it. Some days I look forward to retiring and others I’m a little bit frightened. I have no concept of what it is like not to work so I just can’t imagine it.”
He hopes to spend more time with his wife Alma, 61, daughter Eleanor, 31, and son Simon, 29, as well as getting outdoors to play golf and take up gardening.
He has left his shop in the trusty hands of Patesh Patel, who owns two other shops in the district.
David said: “Patesh will keep the shop running how it is and promises to maintain the ethos we have. I’m sure it will be in great hands.”