Home Essential support Community shop in North Belfast selling essentials and nostalgic sweets

Community shop in North Belfast selling essentials and nostalgic sweets


If there’s a chocolate bar or a flavor of crisps that makes you nostalgic, they’re probably available at a small community store in North Belfast.

Liam’s Day Today on Westland Road is your typical store outside, but inside there’s a counter full of old-fashioned candy, special edition crisps, and great souvenirs.

Owner Liam Bassett, 23, welcomed a new baby this year and opened two businesses. He thanked those who helped him on his journey.

Speaking to Belfast Live, Liam said: “I grew up in and around the Cliftonville / Ardoyne area and my store is just down the street from my house. I’ve always seen the little store there- down from where I was younger It belonged to my daddy’s friends and then during confinement I saw it was closed.

“I thought maybe this would be a good time to open up. I took the lease at the end of May, heavily locked out and it took about four weeks to turn things around. mid-lock and it was a gamble. I saw an opportunity there, I knew the big supermarkets were busy and thought I would bring something for the community so they didn’t have to go elsewhere.

Liam’s day today

“Opening during the lockdown, I was confident it would go well. After a few weeks it was slow. I thought people would come here because they didn’t want to go to the big supermarkets but they didn’t want to leave home to everything so they were getting deliveries.

“I was 50/50 as to whether to maintain the store, but it kind of picked up when the restrictions started to ease. Then I pushed as much as I could on social media, but it was still just a normal little store. I wanted to do something different to stand out. I started importing things like American candy and crisps. “

Liam said he could see that these American items were becoming more and more popular in the store and sales were improving.

Her customers are now asking for items and after posting an April Fool’s Day joke online about entering Mars Delight bars, the response has been “just crazy”.

“I know people really like nostalgic stuff,” he added.

“We started importing things from Australia and then once we got into Milkybar Chews, which came out years ago, there were queues of 30 people who wanted to buy the full crates. .

“If I know I’ve got something popular, I have to prepare my staff for it. People didn’t want to miss it. People were swarming everywhere, Co Tyrone, everywhere – all for Banshee Bones.

Liam Bassett

“There’s a lot of work involved in researching to try and get certain items, but it’s worth seeing how happy customers are.”

Liam says the North Belfast community has been supportive and customers visit the store daily for their essentials and for a friendly chat.

He said older customers are a brilliant business for the staff and a joy to be around.

“We have a client, Mrs. Lavery, and she is just great, a really lovely woman. She comes every day and gets her bread, milk and newspaper.

“It’s these little ones that you will always remember. Westland Road is said to have an older population and they love the staff and that’s one of the reasons I was able to step back, because of the staff.”

From the store’s success in the original candy, other stores contacted to ask if Liam could get them some.

Liam’s day today

He then made the decision to start his new business – Candy Land, a confectionery wholesaler.

Liam said: “There were days when I got so much stuff into my parents’ house. I took over a living room, it was full of Cheetos.

“I had never done the wholesale properly so I decided why not branch out. Candy Land is doing very well and we have around 60 new customers from all over the UK and Ireland.

“It was truly an exciting and truly enjoyable trip. I am so grateful to everyone for their support, family, friends, staff and of course customers.”

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