Popular food and wine shop in West Sussex village gets new owner: Hassocks store is second venture in planned chain
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Suness Pudaruth, 28, took ownership of the popular store on Monday, November 27, having previously acquired Keymer Stores in December 2019.
Suness, who grew up in Crawley and around Sussex, said the reaction from the community has been very positive, as many of his customers use both shops.
He said: “For them it’s quite good because in Hassocks they like to see familiar faces.”
He continued: “It’s in the same community – and Hassocks is quite a small community – so it was quite easy for us to get to grips with the trade.”
Suness said he is hoping to build his own chain of convenience stores with a potential new shop coming in Shoreham. He realised that buying Hassocks Food and Wine would be a good opportunity for him when he heard it was up for sale but it required a lot of hard work.
Suness said: “Running multiple sites is a completely different business model so I had to restructure everything. It’s actually two years in the making.”
But he said his USP (unique selling proposition) is trying to keep his connection with his customers ‘as close as possible’ even as his chain of stores grows. He said he has four staff altogether at the moment and will be looking to take on new staff.
Before he owned Keymer Stores, Suness said his main business was investing into financial markets, especially FOREX, and also selling new cars. He said he had a somewhat entrepreneurial mindset even when he was a child and tapped into the shop business when he was about 22. He said he aims to train people in his franchise and said the training involves everything for running a small business, including finance, stock operations and having staff.
Suness said: “We help people who have a little bit of experience, say working in a shop, or who have some management skills, and we help develop them into shop owners.”
He announced he had taken ownership of Hassocks Food and Wine on the Facebook group Hassocks Uncovered, saying: “We are eager to serve you and ensure that Hassocks Food and Wine remains the preferred destination for all your convenience needs. Thank you for your continued support.”