Family ties bonding new shop to centre

Loughborough Carillon Court shopping centre’s latest retailer is a real family affair.

Second and third generation members of the same family are now involved in running the House of Ashley Peake, thenewest shop in the centre which opened at the end of January and offers a wide range of gift ideas from occasional furniture to greetings cards.

Founder Frank Peake, now 79, is the son of a director of the famous Royal Crown Derby pottery factory.

Following his training there, he became an assistant work manager at Royal Crown Derby but after serving national service, he decided not to return but to set up in retailing with his wife, Judith, in Long Eaton.

Two of Frank and Judith’s four children, sisters Sally Doar and Katie Plackett, are both directors of House of Peake. Sons William and James and Sally’s husband, Anthony, are also part of the business.

The third generation of the family is Katie’s 21-year-old daughter, Natalie, who has been working full-time in the shops for the past 18 months after a few years as a Saturday part-timer.

She has been managing the Ilkeston branch and now spends two days a week at the new Carillon Court store.

Natalie said: “I really like working in the business because I love having the daily interaction with the customers and enjoy arranging window displays.

“We ’ve only been open for a short time in Carillon Court but we’ve already had some good feedback and people have been saying our gifts are just what they have been looking for.”

Sally, 49, said: “Dad opened his first shop in Main Street, Long Eaton, in 1960 and it is still there.

“He started off selling English tableware and hotelware, from Royal Doulton, Denby, Wedgewood, Royal Crown Derby and Portmeirion moving onto gifts for the home from these companies and many more like Moorcroft, Royal Worcester,Aynsley and Waterford.

“Customers loved to save for something that would last them a lifetimeand hand down to their siblings becoming family heirlooms.

“Over the years, the business slowly changed as the premier brands of pottery became much less popular.

“The House of Ashley Peake had to evolve to survive, so we began diversifying into lines such as jewellery, glassware, resin figures, greeting cards and stationery. “We also now sell occasional furniture, baby products for christenings, retirement and anniversary presents – basically, everything a good gift shop should provide.”

As the business became more successful, the firm opened further stores at Beeston in Nottinghamshire and Ilkeston in Derbyshire. Baljit Kooner, Carillon

Court Manager, said: “It is a terrific new business to welcome to Carillon Court.

“We have a great mix of retailers here from high street names to more individual businesses which offer something which you perhaps wouldn’t find in every town. ”