The month of July is Independent Retailer Month and Calladoodles are getting involved in this annual campaign. To celebrate, we interviewed four women involved with running independent shops on our High Street.

This week, we speak to Sam Neill - Owner of Village Perk. Sam talks motherhood, desserts, and daily ritual.

When did Village Perk open?

I first received the keys to the shop 3rd October 2015.  After a few hiccups, we finally opened on the 27th November 2015.

Why was Village Perk set up?

I have always dreamt of owning my own coffee shop and spent many years looking for the right premises in the right location. Before Village Perk, I was either the second in line or the landlord wasn’t willing to accept new businesses. Finally, we found 7 High Street, Carshalton and our landlord Barry was willing to give us a chance.

What should we expect when we visit your cafe?

The Village Perk is a bright and airy coffee shop with local artwork and photography. You'll always be greeted with a welcome smile. The Village Perk is Carshalton's dessert destination. Our signature dessert is our "Messy Milkshakes" - come down and try one! We do fresh waffles and we serve the best Ice-cream in Carshalton.

 Messy Milkshake - Strawberry Shortcake

Messy Milkshake - Strawberry Shortcake

What is your daily ritual?

My ritual is a little crazy and hectic in the mornings like it is for many mums. My husband gets up and leaves early as he is also self-employed so this leaves me as Mummy Major in the morning shouting orders.

How has motherhood changed you?

My children are what I get out of bed for, they give me a purpose and every day I look at them with amazement that I created them. They give me the drive to succeed at everything I’m doing is for them and their future.

How do you maintain a work and life balance?

I have an amazingly supportive husband and he helps so much with all the home life. It’s very important to have family time so we always have dinner together and talk about our day.

At what age were you the happiest?

I don’t think I could say one age that I have been happiest as I have had so many happy times in my life.  Meeting my husband, having children getting married and the list goes on.

What one song always makes you dance?

I love that song from Twilight. It makes me want to glide around the room like a ballerina. I cannot dance and would only do it when no one is looking or maybe after a few glasses of Prosecco!

Describe yourself in three words...

Determined, loyal and caring

What is your favourite food?

I love Turkish food.

What phrase defines how you live your life?

Life always has a habit of working itself out in the end!

You can connect with Sam here: Twitter/Facebook/Instagram

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