Lindal’s Colony Country Store named Best Workplace of 2002

Staff at a Furness candle shop were celebrating in 2002 after being named the best workplace tourist attraction in England.

Lindal’s Colony Country Store recorded 260,000 visitors in 2000, making it the first of its kind in England, according to figures from the English Tourist Board.

The figure was an estimate using data from sales at the shop, which sold a wide range of scented candles and other items like potpouri.

Glass hallways in parts of the shop allowed visitors to watch when artisan-style candle making was taking place in the candle factory.

Colony Gift Corporation’s retail sales manager, Belinda Smith, said, “We have very high footfall for a small site.”

Colony had worked with Furness Tourism Partnership to promote the store, which had opened 10 years previously.

Ms Smith said: ‘We are absolutely thrilled to be in the lead and hope it continues.’

The complex included a cafe called Chandlers owned by site owner, farmer Dave Rawlinson, who received recommendations from Egon Ronay.

An unusual attraction was the year-round Santa’s Grotto, an American idea that had caught on in Lindal, where it was consistently popular with visiting children.

Ms Smith said: “It really is an uncharted area, but there’s a lot to see here.

“In tourism, I think shopping is the favorite activity of people on vacation.

“The store has a very loyal local custom but it also attracts tourists from the lakes.

“It helps form a visitor package with other attractions like Furness Abbey, the Dock Museum and the shops in Barrow.

“It also draws people to attractions like the Ulverston Glass Center in Ulverston and the South Lakes Wild Animal Park in Dalton. We are committed to the local community who have been really good to us.”

The Colony Country Store made about 10 coach trips a week in the summer.

Colony has planned new attractions in the shop, including a series of information panels on the history of candle making, which dates back to Egyptian times.

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