Toy shop plans for more success after eight-year anniversary
- Credit: Daniel Mason
A shop owner who launched his own business after being made redundant hopes he can continue seeing it grow after marking eight years in business.
Phil Rolfe has taken care of Outer Rim Toys in March since opening on November 2, 2013, and was keen to take his lifetime hobby of toys into business.
“I had an interest in collecting toys when I was younger,” he said.
“I always wanted a shop but it was a case of finding somewhere affordable.”
Phil, of King’s Lynn, was made redundant in 2001 and used to sell toys at places such as Ely market.
But after looking for a vacant premises in and around the area, he found just that on Station Road, March, where he has worked ever since and marked eight years there on Tuesday.
“I didn’t imagine to turn this hobby into my own shop, but being made redundant made me think about what things I could do,” said Phil.
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“The aim was to build something here and I don’t think we’re doing badly.
“I was not in this for the short-term; it was a progression to get the shop and hopefully it can continue to grow.”
Last year, this newspaper spoke to Phil as part of our Shop Local campaign, which highlighted how local businesses were tackling the Covid-19 pandemic.
Since then, and before, he has seen a steady flow of customers and says to this day, he cannot predict how busy he will be.
“Even after eight years, I think it’s still unpredictable,” he said.
“Saturdays are usually a busier time of the week, but there’s still a steady flow of people.
“It is a quieter part of town; I get by but I would like to see an increase in footfall at this end of town.”
To this day, Phil admitted some passers-by ask if his business is new, which he thinks is due to its location.
During the pandemic, where he has missed around seven months of trade, he set up a website as well as a Facebook page to keep business ticking.
And having already achieved his ambition, Phil hopes there is plenty more success to come.
“I think I’m pretty much established as a decent toy shop in town,” he added.
“The ambition was to run a shop; I have achieved that and now I want to keep on going.”