Mick’s pride in putting the customer first
THE celebrations have just about calmed down in Carnew this week following local man Mick Kelly’s recent award for ‘Shopkeeper of the Year’.
The community was filled with excitement to learn that their very own local Candy’s Gala shop manager was chosen from hundreds all over the country.
It’s no surprise that Mick was the worthy winner when his day’s work can include anything from jump starting customer cars or repairing boilers to get the heating going at a neighbour’s home.
This type of customer service might go beyond the call of duty but it is the very nature of this variety that keeps Mick passionate about his work.
‘I genuinely love coming into work every morning. That is the beauty of retail because every day is different and you never know what challenge will be thrown at you,’ he explained.
Living just a short hop over the Wexford border Mick, who is married to Sheila and father to ten-month-old Kate, is happy to live close to his work which means he is on hand whenever he is needed.
‘I took over as manager of Candy’s six years ago when Tom and Patrick Doyle acquired the business. They were looking for a manager and I jumped at the chance. They are very support- ive but allow me to do things my own way and they leave me to my own devices for the most part,’ he said.
With a staff of 22 under his care, Mick has his hands full but is grateful that they all embrace the Candy’s ethos of putting the customer first.
‘Without the staff I wouldn’t be in a position to do what I do for our customers. If I get called away or go out with a delivery and a lady comes in that needs her shopping carried out then the staff that are on will know that she needs this help and will be happy to do it in my absence,’ Mick said.
The importance of putting the customer first was something that Mick learned a long time ago when he first started out in retail at the tender age of 17.
‘I started off working in Pettit’s which is a family-run business. Their ethos from the beginning was that the customer was always number one. The emphasis was on making sure they were happy and that they would return and ensure repeat business. To this day that is how their stores are run and customers appreciate that level of service no matter what size the store is.’
Mick worked in Pettit’s for six years before moving to Dunnes Stores and later into the hospitality trade which ensured that he expe- rienced the broad spectrum that is retail and customer care.
Being situated in the south Wicklow village means that the shop is a hub for the community.
‘We love being involved in the community. For example, if we are supplying stuff for local funer- als and the likes I try to go out and help with the set up if I can. Then when the local drama is on people come for tickets. Without the community we wouldn’t be here and we are very grateful for that. When I got the award it was wonderful to receive so much goodwill.’
Mick Kelly and his wife Sheila with his Shopkeeper of the Year award.