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I feel a lot more positive. This is completely different to how I felt two hours ago – coaching is powerful stuff! — Heather Anderson, Sun Beams Nursery

Plenty Provisions Store

Entrepreneur: Helen and Martin Truman
Location: St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex, UK

One of the latest additions to the ever-expanding retail offer in Central St Leonards is the Plenty Provisions Store in Grand Parade on the seafront. Proprietor Helen Truman and her husband Martin.

“We decided to move to St Leonards because we liked the diversity of the area and the sense of community,” Helen explains. “I have always wanted to have my own business and thought that St Leonards would offer the opportunity to do it as overheads are low and there is an exciting sense of regeneration and change.”

“After speaking to Rachel McCarron of McCarron’s in Norman Road she advised that I speak to Clive Gross, the Business Coach at Ten Sixty Six Enterprise. Clive was my first point of contact when considering setting up the business. He has been a great sounding board for my ideas and offered an honest insight into the local area. The networking meetings that he has organised have also been extremely useful for testing the market and meeting suppliers and other local new business people.”

Plenty Provisions has evolved in response to the growing demand from local residents wishing to ‘shop local’ for their everyday basics. There is also a growing market, demand and interest for locally sourced food for both environmental and economic reasons.

Helen continued, “While other towns are losing their small independent shops in St Leonards they are on the increase. I have had people in from Richmond in Surrey and Tunbridge Wells saying that they wish they had something like Plenty near them!”

The store has a vibrant atmosphere and the feel of a ‘traditional style’ provisions shop with a modern twist. They used the Hastings and Bexhill Wood Recycling project to fit out the shop with shelving, shop counter and display materials. Plenty offers its customers a range of local, recycled, eco, fair-trade, natural and organic goods including cupboard store basics, delicatessen and locally sourced bakery items, grocery, flowers, and a small range of garden, home wares and textiles.

Helen has now been trading for over a year and is looking to take on more staff and  expanding her offer to include ice creams and more take-away sandwiches and drinks as well employ more staff.