A TRADITIONAL sweet shop in Horwich has celebrated its first birthday – just seven months after the coronavirus lockdown forced it to close.

Grandad Jim's Traditional Sweet Shoppe, on Lee Lane, opened its doors to customers last October, with owners Andy and Kat Dickinson, both 36, at the helm.

The couple spent seven weeks getting the store ready, completely redecorating the inside of the unit to match their other stores in Leyland and Chorley.

Mr Dickinson said: "We do all of the building ourselves – it's usually me and my dad doing plastering and the flooring and then my wife and I get the decorations and go round antique shops to get the fittings.

"They're all the same basic style, but each shop has something unique and a little different about it, the one in Leyland is the most personal as it has everything I used to collect as a child, but Horwich is the best looking one.

"It's a huge family effort, my brother works in store, my eldest son and my oldest step-son both work in the shop, and we have local staff members too."

When the family took over the Lee Lane store, Mr Dickinson and his dad worked to replaster the unit, changing the flooring and the ceiling to match their old-fashioned tastes.

The former boiler salesman decided to set up his own business when his second son was born ten-years-ago – naming it after his maternal grandfather.

Mr Dickinson opted to expand into Horwich after a few people recommended the town as a good spot for his next shop.

He added: "I was taking to someone a few years ago and they said Horwich would be a great place for a store and then one of our friends moved here.

"We came down for a look and it was mostly small businesses so people must shop local – that's what I like about Horwich.

"It took three years before the Leyland store really started excelling so I'm pretty pleased with the progress we've made after one year.

"We're just getting to know the locals now – I don't just want to open another shop and then leave. If you go the extra mile you can definitely make a success of it."