The owner of a successful tea shop in Kimberley has just celebrated four years in business.
Nygel Stevenson made a success of Madhatters Tea Room when most other new businesses in the town were closing down.
The Alice in Wonderland theme in his quaint tea shop drew people in from all over Nottinghamshire.
And business is still booming to this day.
As well as selling tea and cake, he now additionally hosts tapas nights, baby showers and even hen parties.
Nygel, also known as The Madhatter, said the secret to success was spending time with customers and enjoying every day.
“I make every day fun and I don’t take myself too seriously. I enjoy my job and enjoy life,” he said.
“Spending time with customers is so important to me.
“To be able to spend quality time with my customers, knowing them and knowing what they like is great.
“People come in here as quite a social thing. I’ve seen lots of friendships blossom over the four years,” said Nygel.
But the Madhatter thinks the days of struggling local shops have come to an end, and says over the last year he has seen a shift in the
way people shop.
“I think people are now wanting to supprt independent businesses and they are bored of the big boys.
“They like individuality. We’re almost going back full circle. How things used to be. I think we are going back to that.
“There are lots of independent businesses thriving and doing well now in Kimberley.”
Nygel said young couples were coming into Kimberley from otherr parts of Nottinghahsire to shop.
“I met a young couple in their 20s last week who had been coming to shop in Kimberley every Saturday morning, and they lived in Wollaton. They enjoyed the individuality of the shops.
“They come in to Madhatters with their bakery bags from the new artisan bakery that’s opened up. It’s novel. Their parents have been to the supermarket but they want to buy something that’s a bit different.
“People are fed up with buying what the supermarkets want us to buy. People want to make their own decisions. and have somehting a little different.
The tea shop in James Street marked its fourth anniversary on Valentines Day.
To celebrate a special afternoon tea was offered throughout the weekend.
Nygel said: “Four years and still going is quite an achievement.
“I’m very proud. Since we opened up businesses have come and gone. We’re still here which is wonderful.”