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Long Sutton sweet shop puts up signs asking customers 'not to be rude' after complaints over counting sweets

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The owners of a Long Sutton sweet shop have thanked people for their support after they were forced to put up signs warning customers not to be rude when buying their pick 'n' mix.

Woodward's Confection, in the town's Market Place, had to erect signs warning 'rudeness will not be tolerated' after a small minority of people complained about the store not weighing its pick 'n' mix sweets.

Woodward's, which was opened in January by Nathaniel Woodward, 28, and Leah Huggins, 27, says it would rather trust people to count out their own sweets.

Leah Huggins, pictured in January, before the opening of Woodward's.
Leah Huggins, pictured in January, before the opening of Woodward's.

But they were stunned by the reaction of a very small minority of customers who refused to co-operate with their more honest approach.

The couple, who have seven children between them, say they have suffered verbal abuse from around ten to fifteen different people - culminating in one incident where a man threw three £1 coins at Leah's head.

A frustrated Leah said: "It is the last thing you expect when you are just trying to provide a traditional pick 'n' mix for children.

"We have 1p sweets, 2p sweets and 3p sweets which we ask customers to count themselves.

"I put the signs up the next day."

Nathaniel added: "That incident was the straw that broke the camel's back, and we decided that we would not tolerate any more rudeness.

"It is only a small minority, but we have had ten to fifteen customers who have been abusive.

"Adults have shouted things at us because they won't count out their sweets and want us to weigh it for them."

Instead Woodward's provide customers with paper bags and plastic gloves to choose from the store's own range of 45 different penny sweets which sweet lovers then count themselves and present at the till.

Nathaniel points out it is a "true" pick 'n' mix experience which actually works out much cheaper for the customer.

"We have had great support from everyone in Long Sutton; the town has really got behind us.

"All we ask is that people are honest and tell us how many sweets they have bought," Nathaniel added.

"Obviously I can tell if it is a £5 bag rather than a £2 bag.

"If they want me to weigh it for them it works out much more expensive, but unfortunately we have had some very bad reactions when we ask people to count their sweets themselves."

The couple have, however, vowed to continue with their dream.

Woodward's last week took to social media to ask people to keep calm and say they will now erect signs informing customers their rudeness will not be tolerated.

"There is no need to be rude to our staff, our staff work tremendously hard and when customers are rude it makes it even harder," the business said on its Facebook page.

"Also anyone who doesn't count their pick 'n' mix as they serve themselves will have their sweets weighed and charged accordingly.

"This works out nearly twice the price if you were to count them.

"We do our pick 'n' mix the fairest way possible and all we ask is when you come to the till you know how much you have put in your bag. If you can't do this we will just weigh your sweets.

"It's cheaper for you, it's an experience not just a product and because we wanted a true pick 'n' mix on sale.

"On average a 50p pick 'n' mix, if you counted it, will cost you 50p - if we weigh it, it will cost you £1 roughly.

"This is not a post I want to write, but it seems the small selected few have to ruin it for others. If it continues we will take the penny sweets away and weigh everything, it's your choice!"

The post was met with a chorus of support by residents in the surrounding area who called on people to 'stop ruining it' for everyone else.

Carol Hodge, from Sutton Bridge, asked: "Why is there always one who spoils it?"

Sarah Taylor said: "I understand it can be a stressful time. Are they going to have my favourite sweet? But is this for real?"

Alison Dymock added: "Such a shame the minority spoil things for others."

Local dad, Nigel Chapman, also backed the store.

"Always get a small minority spoil it for the majority. Well said Mr Woodward."

FOR MORE NEWS: www.fenlandcitizen.co.uk

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