Meet Jemma Cousins – chief shopkeeper at Best of British
You could say Jemma Cousins has shopkeeping in her blood. Her grandparents and her husband’s parents both ran shops in the UK.
When Jemma decided to search for a suitable business venture in Perth, where she lives, Best of British (formerly UK Central) instinctively felt right.
From IT professional to retail entrepreneur
Jemma's talent for all things IT led her to build a successful career as an IT professional working all around the world.
She left Britain in 2003 and settled permanently in Western Australia, where she continued her IT career and started a family.
As her children got older, Jemma started revisiting a long-held desire to run her own business. That's when she found her British sweet shop.
‘Best of British is ideal. Many of the skills from my IT career have been invaluable in running the business.
The shop allows me to enjoy the Aussie lifestyle I’ve come to love while still feeling connected to my original home. I’ve got the best of both worlds and I want my customers to experience that too.’
Familiar foods lead to fond memories
As an expat herself, Jemma understands the appeal of easy access to familiar treats, groceries and products.
But she’s often surprised at the outpouring of emotion her British and Irish emporium regularly arouses in shop visitors.
‘Hardly anyone just pops into the shop and out again. Even our regular customers browse for a while to soak up the atmosphere and see what’s new.
So many memories arise when people discover a particular product or treat on the shelf. It’s a pleasure and a privilege to hear my customers’ stories as they reminisce about their lives.’
Satisfying customer expectations
Jernma is highly responsive to feedback, requests and suggestions about the shop and the stock.
She likes to offer her customers a balance of retro and contemporary products. So, she spends hours researching what’s popular in the UK and Ireland as well as old favourites she’s been asked to source.
Jenma imports stock direct from Britain and Ireland to ensure the store offers original products with the proper taste and trusted results her customers expect.
Feeling curious? Why not take a peek inside our online store?
‘Sometimes Customs regulations mean a certain item can’t be sold or imported into Australia. But one of the benefits of running a speciality shop is my team and I have deep product knowledge. Usually, we can suggest an alternative to try.’