Andrew from Catstycam
"We all going walking, we all use the kit and we all know what we’re on about. It’s not about getting the maximum amount of money out of the customer, but making sure they get the right product for them. You need to know what your talking about if you’re going to sell something to people."
You can use your LD£ to buy everything you'll need for day to day life in the Lake District. And if you want to explore our fells then why not pop in to see Andrew at Catstycam in Glenridding? The perfect place to prepare for your next expedition!
“The shop has been here for about 30 years. I grew up in Pooley Bridge and I used to play here as a kid. When you look back on it, you realise you’ve always gone up into the hills. But when you’re a kid you’re just playing and messing about, and when I am on walk now I think ‘I’m doing just the same as I was then’, I’m just in the hills just messing about.
“My mum and dad and brother owned the shop, but in the late nineties my brother wanted to go and do other things and so I asked my mum and dad whether they wanted me to run it. They said that would be brilliant and I have been here ever since.
“Originally the shop up here and the mini-market downstairs was the Glenridding miners’ co-op, when Glenridding was a lead mining village. Just as we took over, Gortex came out, but before that it was all Barbour jumpers and wax jackets and really sweaty, PU coated waterproofs. It was a real cottage industry in the beginning, climbers and walkers who thought ‘There’s nothing available for what I need to do’ and they made their own kit. Now it’s a massive industry and it’s been incredible watching that journey.
“I still see us as quite an old-fashioned outdoor shop. We all going walking, we all use the kit and we all know what we’re on about. It’s not about getting the maximum amount of money out of the customer, but making sure they get the right product for them. You need to know what your talking about if you’re going to sell something to people.
“Because of where we are on the Coast to Coast route and out of town, I always say we make a living out of forgetful people who go walking and suddenly realise they need something they left at home. We have about 3500 lines here, which is a similar range to Aldi or Lidl and we’re a tiny shop in the Lake District.
“Small businesses play a really important part in the community and when things like Storm Desmond happen, everybody cracks on and does their absolute best. You just want to help in any way you can. We all work together in Glenridding to make the experience for visitors as good as we can and try and make them want to come back again and again.”