Freemans at the heart of Plymouth community
A family-run Plymouth convenience store which has been at the heart of one of our estates, is this year celebrating half-a-century in business. On 6 January 1969, Douglas and Pauline Freeman set up shop in Ringmore Way, West Park. The business is now run by their son, Paul, and his wife, Sue, who have since opened another branch in Coombe Park Lane.
Paul recalled: “My parents opened the shop in 1969 when the estate was being built. Their first customers were builders – no one had moved in to any of the homes at that stage! Dad retired in 1986 and Sue and I took over. We’ve seen lots of changes over the years – the National Lottery came in, people could buy credit on their electricity cards, PayPoint was introduced.
“Shopping trends have changed, too. People pop in every day to buy things. They don’t really do ‘big’ shops – they do ‘top-up shops’. It’s got more competitive. Home delivery has affected us but we’re still here, still providing a service.”
The Freemans employ seven staff, and their four grown-up children have all done shifts in the store over the years. Sue added: “We’ve got brilliant staff who’ve been here many years. We’ve got to know customers over the years and they know us, and we’d like to thank them all for their continued support and loyalty.”