As a new regular feature, Dartford Matters will be following the lead of the Dartford Community Facebook Group (DCG), and highlighting small, independent local businesses. These are the kinds of business that many of us overlook, such is our habit to shop at supermarkets, and yet we lament their all-too frequent closure as if there was nothing that could be done to save them.
Earlier this year, our friend Mike Harrison wrote an outstanding article called ‘Long Live the High Street: The Customer is King’. It portrayed a town whose people who were voiced their complaints when local businesses failed, yet who continued their weekly support of large businesses and supermarkets all the same. The DCG and Dartford Matters feel we could play a small part in attempting to reverse that trend, so each week, we’ll visit, and encourage others to visit a small business and purchase something affordable.
The DCG chose J Leydon’s sweet shop in Stone, which made for an exciting visit this morning. The shop is small, and situated on London Road, next to a branch of Dominos Pizza, opposite Lingfield Avenue. The owner has been running the shop for countless years, and still maintains a large selection of traditional sweets in jars, as well as the usual chocolate bars and crisps. It’s very a welcoming place, and I was immediately thrown back to similar sweet shops in my hometown that disappeared many years ago. For £10, I got enough pick & mix make sensible portions for four people, and there were sweets such as pink pigs and chocolate limes, that I haven’t had in years.
I’ll be back in there before long, and I recommend anyone in East Dartford does the same.