A NEW town centre shop owner has been ‘overwhelmed’ after residents flooded through the front door during her first week of trading.

Just Purdy was launched by Diane Dening in Holyrood Street, Chard, on Saturday, February 9, and has been a great success so far.

The pottery and ceramics cafe was launched with the help of South Somerset District Councillor Jo Roundell Greene, portfolio holder for the Chard Regeneration Scheme.

Diane said: “It is going really well. we couldn’t have wished for a better start.

“It was busy all day on our first day, and then last week we had lots of enquiries - Brownies, Guides, toddler groups, birthday parties.

“This Saturday was just bedlam again. I think Saturdays are always going to be our busiest day.”

Diane is also set for a packed out midweek though, after teaming up with local babyloss awareness charity, Little Daffodils.

“We have 60 children coming in on Wednesday,” Diane said.

“We set up a couple of sessions with 12 children each, and Little Daffodils filled them in a couple of hours.

“So they asked if I could put some more on. I added three more in the morning and they were full in a couple of days.”

The Chard charity didn’t even get to properly advertising the event as spots were snapped up on social media.

Diane originally ran Just Purdy as a mobile business, developing her company and her craft for two years before settling into a store in Chard’s town centre.

She added: “It has just been amazing really, for the first week especially.

“It has been mostly new people coming in, although I do have some recurring customers.

“We have had a lot of local support, but also people from Wellington, West Huntspill, Yeovil and Crewkerne.

“The schools in Crewkerne got involved in handing out leaflets, and then we were really busy on Friday too because I think they had an inset day.

“I thought I would be sat here during the week twiddling my thumbs, planning things. It has not worked like that at all.

“It has been overwhelming. We have had so much support, even people offering help for free.”

For more, visit the Just Purdy store at 54 Holyrood Street.