Customer service key to Tuck Shop success
Make excellence in customer service your top priority and you will not go far wrong in business.
That is the advice for young entrepreneurs from Alicia Tucker, who opened her Southampton business The Tuck Shop a year ago.
During her 12 months in operation she has sought to build a loyal clientele attracted by the uniqueness of her dual-concept enterprise based at 235 Middle Road.
The front of the store is a cake shop, while in the back there is what she describes as a “general store” offering women's clothes, skin care products and toys, among other things.
Ms Tucker said she believes every entrepreneur needs perseverance, determination, a positive attitude and a great capacity for hard work to turn their business ideas into reality.
“You must show very good customer service to everyone who walks through your door,” she said. “Every single person deserves the same level of customer service.
“That is my mantra and my family's mantra too.”
Her family owns the neighbouring Island Cuisine, for whom Ms Tucker's operation makes some of the desserts.
Ms Tucker is happy with the way the business has progressed during its first year. “It's been very well received by the community,” she said. “People love the shop because it's different from anywhere else on the island.
“I've had many repeat customers and the business is building a loyal customer base.”
Ms Tucker worked with her mother Audrey Tucker in the restaurant business for many years, learning much about hard work and the nuts and bolts of running a business.
Her own business was not something she launched in haste — it had been seven years in the making, she said.
“I had a very clear vision of what I wanted to accomplish, somewhere unique in Bermuda, a one-stop shop where you could grab a coffee and a cookie, then go in the back and buy a dress or a toy.
“I aim to keep things interesting and never stand still and always think creatively.”
She has tried to foster an atmosphere of positivity and some of her customers have noted that The Tuck Shop feels “peaceful and welcoming”.
Christmas trade, she said, had been picking up with much interest in the Grimm's wooden toys she stocks. “They're made in Germany, made with non-toxic materials and heirloom quality. They will pass the test of time and can even be handed down to the next generation.”
Many products in the store are organic and Ms Tucker goes to great lengths to ensure that they are unique to Bermuda.
Orders have been brisk for The Tuck Shop's lavishly decorated “fancy cookies”. “I tell people they taste as nice as they look. I use my mother's and grandmother's recipes,” she said.
She now employs two pastry chefs and has a part-time employee to help with the Christmas rush.
It is still very much a family business, Ms Tucker says, and she praised the contributions of her mother and also her husband, Damien Richardson.
On December 20, the store will be open for evening shopping until 9pm in celebration of its first anniversary.
The store's regular opening hours are Monday to Saturday, 9am to 6pm, and on Sundays until Christmas, 11am to 3pm.
• For more information, call the The Tuck Shop on 238-8825, or visit Instagram and Facebook, @tuckshopbermuda