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What is the Oldest Shop in Caerphilly? A shoe repairer in Caerphilly town centre may be the oldest independent business still trading in the town. PH Gay & Sons was first established in 1905 by Pearson Henry Gay in a small shop on Cardiff Road, it then moved into St Fagan’s Street before passing to Pearson’s son Hubert in 1926. The business has remained a family concern continuing to be handed down from father to son. In the 1960’s Hubert‘s son Desmond took over and in 1989 he handed it on to his son David. There was more change in 2005 when David moved PH Gay & Sons to the new Pavilions development, which was part of the old post office. When The Pavilions was demolished in 2013 to make way for the new library, the business again returned to Cardiff Road where it is today. PH Gay & Sons still carries out a range of traditional shoe repairs as well as selling a range of leather goods and offering a key cutting service.Interestingly, when the cobblers first started in 1905 the family also owned another shop on The Square in Senghenydd. This shop had electricity from the colliery’s pit winder, whilst the Caerphilly shop only had gas because the town had no colliery. David said: In my father’s day he was known as a time served crafts man and I hope that is what I would be considered today. The business has changed, although we don’t make shoes anymore there is huge satisfaction in using my skill to mend shoes that people think are beyond repair.
Exclusive Family Business – Exclusive Tiles & Bathrooms After 30 years working for himself, tiling walls and floors, John Phillips decided it was time to start a new family business with his son Luke called Exclusive Tiles & Bathrooms. The business, which was originally based in Aberbargoed, has just opened a new showroom in Blackwood town centre on High Street at the junction of Pentwyn Road. Exclusive Tiles & Bathrooms sells a range of bathroom suites as well tiles and is very much a family business. Whilst John as the Director retains a hands on role tiling walls and floors for customers across the County Borough, Luke works as the business manager in the showroom. Luke said: Blackwood is the busiest high street in the area so it made sense to open our new show here. Our aim is to offer our customers a first class service with the personal touch we offer as a family business
Caerphilly Welcomes New Bike Shop A new cycle shop has opened in Caerphilly town centre. BikeShredz, which is located in Clive Street and run by keen cyclist Nick Ball who was always fascinated with cycling, not only riding bikes but also repairing them. (pictured Nick Ball) After leaving school he pursued a career as an engineer and toolmaker but when he was made redundant again in April, Nick took the opportunity to pursue his dream of turning his love of cycling into a business. BikeShredz not only sells bikes, but it also has a fully equipped workshop to conduct repairs and stocks a comprehensive range of parts and accessories. Nick said: When I got made redundant it felt like I had the chance to do something I really wanted to do. I have used my experience in cycling to start BikeShredz because I wanted to offer people a complete service from sales to repair. (pictured Andrew Cook)
Caerphilly Florist Wins Top Award A florist in Caerphilly town centre has been crowned one of the best in the UK. Nicola Downie who owns The Caerphilly Florist in Cardiff Road has been accepted into the exclusive Good Florist Guide, the gold standard of floristry and the only merit-based guide to the finest florists in the UK. To be part of the Guide, each florist undergoes a rigorous evaluation process with submissions being vetted by a panel of industry experts to ensure they meet the strict criteria. The focus is not only on the florist designs, but also the service and value they offer customers.   Nicola said: We are delighted to be accepted into the Good Florist Guide. At The Caerphilly Florist we are passionate about flowers, design, quality and customer service so it is wonderful to be recognised. Caroline Marshall-Foster who is the editor of The Florist magazine and Executive Director of Good Florist Guide said: You can buy flowers virtually anywhere these days. But nothing really beats the experience of receiving fabulous flowers from a truly bespoke florist. The Good Florist Guide allows consumers to know that the florist they use is able and willing to go the extra mile and make all their purchases, big or small, truly special. The Caerphilly Florist has an offer in the ‘Choose the High Street’ Christmas Voucher Booklet which is available from 1st November in the foyers of Morrisons, ASDA and Tesco stores across the Caerphilly County Borough.
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New Ladies Boutique Opens A new ladies boutique has opened on Blackwood High Street directly opposite the Maxime Cinema. So whilst the boys can enjoy watching a film in the cinema, the girls can shop in Betty’s Boutique which is the latest addition to Blackwood’s growing list of fashion retailers. The boutique is run by mother and daughter Nicola & Molly Page and is named after Nicola‘s mother.   Nicola has been in business for over 30 years, previously running Creative Homes and Bojangles Boutique. Molly is in her second year in University in Cardiff studying for a fashion degree. Nicola said: At Betty’s Boutique we offer the latest ladies fashions as well as classic styles to suit all ages from 17 to 87! With our wide range of clothes, bags, shoes, jewellery and gifts we’ve got something for everyone. Molly said: My degree work keeps me up to date with the latest trends in the fashion industry and it’s great to use that knowledge to help choose the designs that we stock.  
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Caerphilly is a Cut Above Another new business has opened in Caerphilly town centre. Aspros Barbers is located on Cardiff Road and is run by Theo Aspros who has been a barber for the past last 16 years working in Cardiff. After years spent renting a chair in someone else’s salon, Theo decided it was time to start his own business. A chance drive through Caerphilly town centre convinced him that he had found the perfect place to begin a new chapter of his career. As well as cutting gents hair the barbers has installed a special chair with a television to enable children to watch their favourite program whilst they have their hair cut. The fit out of the barbers includes sofas and a coffee machine to keep customers happy whilst they wait. Theo comes from a long line of hairdressers and is particularly proud to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps and proudly displays his grandfather’s original hair clippers on the wall. Theo said: When I drove through Caerphilly with my wife Georgina and son Nicholas she thought what a lovely little town it was and the perfect place for us to open our first shop. I look forward to welcoming people to Aspros Barbers and getting to know them.   Image: One of his grandfather’s original hair clippers
Bargoed’s Italian Secret Behind the longstanding success of the Ricci’s Square Café in Bargoed town centre is a secret recipe for Italian ice cream which has been handed down for generations.The café, which is located on Hanbury Square, was first established in 1909 in Fleur de Lys by Luigi and Clotilde Ricci before moving to Bargoed in 1929. Ricci’s Square Café was subsequently run by the next generation brothers Giovanni and Aldo before being passed down to Giovanni‘s sons Andrew and Dominic who run the business today. The café has always served ice cream made in a single vanilla flavor to a recipe which is closely guarded family secret, Ricci’s also offer a range of home cooked meals. Dominic said: We are incredibly proud of the heritage of our business which has successful adapted to changes without losing its identity and of course we sell our famous ice cream made to our special recipe. Andrew said: Our coffee is brewed by Ferrari Espresso to our own unique roast which gives it a very distinctive flavour. I believe we serve the best coffee in the Rhymney Valley!
New Name Same Great Service It’s all change for the team who run Superdrug in Bargoed town centre as it changes over to the parent companies other brand Savers.Over the last month the team lead by manager Steven Gravett has been hard at work transforming the retail unit on Royale Square into a brand new Savers store with a totally new shop fit out. As a brand, value retailer Savers sells a wide range of: pharmaceuticals, fragrance, household products and cosmetics including Rimmel and Maybelline. For manager Steven the considerable logistical challenge involved was something he took in his stride having served with the Armed Forces around the world before changing to a career in retail. Steven said: The team have done a great job and worked really hard. Since we have changed over to Savers we have seen a big increase in customers so its been very busy serving more people and stocking the displays with new product lines
Bargoed Cuts Back to the 1960’s Bargoed town centre welcomes a new hair salon with a difference. Retro Hair Studio, situated next to the Hanbury Chapel Library, offers its customers a chance to step into the 1960’s and 70’s. Immediately you enter the salon you are immersed in a different world where everything is retro, from the 1960’s style telephone on the counter and the record player in the window, to the sound of the music that shaped a generation. Retro Hair Studio is owned by Jeff Vernon who has worked in hairdressing for over 32 years in a host of different places including Blackwood, Pontypridd, Caerphilly and Cardiff. Jeff said: I wanted to open a gent’s barbers and ladies hair salon that was a bit different. I love everything about the 1960’s and 70’s so when people visit Retro Hair Studio they will not only get a great hair cut but also experience a little piece of the nostalgia.
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