As we start a new year it’s always lovely to look back at what we’ve achieved over the last one, especially as on the final day of 2019 we were awarded first prize for our Christmas Window Display from Burnham-on-Sea and Highbridge Town Council. What a great way to end 2019 and begin 2020!
Just like we started this year off with some great news we started 2019 with our 5 star rating for our Coffee Shop, which we continue to uphold. By the end of January Sopha became a “Plastic Free Champion” due to removing single-use plastics from both the Coffee Shop and the Furniture Store.
March was a month of shortlistings remarkably for two separate awards; the South West Building Excellence Awards and the Sedgemoor Business Excellence Awards. After two years of renovating The George Hotel, making every effort in respecting the history of the building whilst making it fit for a 21st Century furniture store, we were pleased to be shortlisted in three categories of the South West Building Excellence Awards: Best Change of Use of an Existing Building or Conversion, Best Inclusive Building and Best Small Commercial Project. The Sedgemoor Business Excellence Awards saw us announced as a finalist for New Business of the Year. Co-founders Matt and Emily attended their awards evening celebrating alongside our graphic designers and fellow local businesses.
We held our Grand Opening on Saturday 27th April when hundreds of people attended our ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the official opening of Sopha by the then Burnham and Highbridge Mayor Cllr Bill Hancock. It was a great free community day (despite the gale force winds!) with live music and entertainment plus a craft fair alongside our special opening offers and goodie bags.
In June we achieved the Business Awards for Litter Free Coast and Sea receiving certificates for completing its three level award scheme which encourages businesses to consider their full environmental impact. Being a sustainable business was the most important decision we made from the get-go as we wanted to be different from other furniture retailers.
We were thrilled to reveal in September that we were finalists in the New Business of the Year category for the Somerset Business Awards after a visit from the judges with whom we could share our business ideas and demonstrate our excellent customer service through our hard-working team. It was a very proud moment for us to be one of the final new businesses in the whole of Somerset.
As November rolled around we celebrated our first year by introducing our new branded delivery van, so keep your eyes peeled for us (and our koala) making deliveries around Somerset and across the country! Throughout the year our furniture sales team members have been working towards their own certifications completing training with the Sleep Council Sales Academy, visiting at least one bed factory and the last member of our team has now completed the Somnus Training Academy Course, meaning all our sales team are fully qualified in selling beds.
We rounded off the year with some festive cheer by wearing our elf costumes on Elf Day (6th December) to support The Alzheimers Society, a cause close to our team’s hearts as we have all lost a loved one to it, and our Christmas jumpers on Christmas Jumper Day (13th December) for Save the Children.
With a new year comes a new (and much improved!) website as we are now able to sell our sofas, beds and homestuff online. We would always recommend coming and trying it out first so you can get the right feel and look before ordering online.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our customers and local businesses for their support in our first year. We wouldn’t be where we are today without you. We would also like to wish all our customers a happy and healthy New Year.