Bearing Gifts has been a central part of Southwater Village for over 20 years.
Geoff Sarbutts has been the owner since November 2018. He took over the business from Carole Lawrence who first established Bearing Gifts in 1999 in premises on the village’s industrial estate.
The shop – which specialises in selling greetings cards, Belgian chocolates, partyware, gift wrap, helium balloons, and gifts for all occasions – moved to its current premises in Lintot Square (which offers plenty of free parking) in 2006.
Geoff has not made sweeping changes to the physical store and has retained the existing staff. He says “why change something that works? I hope existing customers will continue to support the shop, and new customers find us”.
Geoff continues to raise funds in the shop for the benefit for Cancer Research UK. To date, the shop has raised more than £2,000 thanks to the generosity of the customers.
Previous owner Carole Lawrence hands over the reins of Bearing Gifts to Geoff Sarbutts
Geoff has recently introduced a website to further raise the profile of the village store. This will soon include an online shop facility where customers will have the opportunity to purchase a selection of the best-selling lines from the comfort of their own homes.