It’s hard to imagine Bedford without its much-loved Arcadia Sweet Shop. Nothing quite compares to the sweet, tantalising scent that hits you the moment you set foot in the door, or the abundance of jarred sweets stacked higher than you could ever reach.
All of your old favourites: Sherbet Lemons, Rhubarb and Custards, Army and Navy, Jelly Buttons – weighed by the quarter of course, and served to you in a paper bag. The shop runs on tradition and nostalgia, as owners Jan, Doug, and Debbie (Mum, Dad and Daughter) do everything they can to maintain its character and products, keeping their loyal customer base sweet (pun intended).
Most of you will recognise Debbie as the hands-on face of the shop. Pretty much every hour of her day is spent serving customers, packing and sending internet orders, replenishing stock, having a giggle with her Saturday girls, or keeping her finger on the pulse with products old and new, weird and wonderful…
Name: Deborah Jane Page AKA Debbie.
Occupation: Partner at Arcadia Sweet Shop.
Born here or blow in? Born in Bedford, conceived in NZ!
Best thing about Bedford? It absolutely has to be the people. Working in the shop we meet people from all different cultures, walks of life, ages…we’re lucky to live in such a diverse part of the country.
Best breakfast? I rarely get time to eat breakfast out, so it would have to be at home, or usually something homemade that I eat at the shop before all the customers come.
The one place you’d recommend to visitors? Bedford Town Centre. Such a variety of fabulous, independent shops and restaurants.
Ever read John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress? Yes, when I was at school.
Bedford’s best boozer: I like to visit the Sportsman for a quick G&T after work with Dad, but also adore the gin selection at The White Horse.
Best Bedfordian? Frank Branston.
Ever eaten a Bedfordshire Clanger? Yes, a vegetarian one.
Three words that sum up Bedford? Multicultural, friendly, home.