One of Wincanton’s best loved businesses celebrated 15 years in Wincanton on 1st May. Sarah Gibson Optometrist first opened its doors back in 2004, and has since become somewhat of an institution, attracting patients from all over Somerset and beyond. Renowned for her friendly, personal approach, Sarah threw open the doors to her newly refurbished practice and invited patients, old and new, to take a look around and celebrate with her and her team.

The practice was officially re-opened by Bertram Akhurst, who at 91 is one of Sarah’s oldest patients. Bertram has been coming to Sarah since she first opened her doors and was thrilled to be invited to say a few words at the official reopening. “Sarah is just a wonderful person” said Bertram. “I have macular degeneration and she has always looked after me,  offering the best help and advice to help me live with my condition. From my first visit I knew that I was in good hands, and now here we are 15 years later! It’s a pleasure to be asked to officially re-open the shop”

The new look practice has a light and airy feel to it and was fitted out by family shop fitting firm CR Bespoke, who specialise in optical practices, working alongside local businesses Mainstone Electrical and Totally Floored. It retains its family friendly charm with a seating and reading area for patients to wait in and a small children’s play area for younger patients.

Sarah says “I cannot believe it is 15 years since I took a huge leap of faith and bought the practice from the chaps who opened it in 1996. Having worked in the practice as the principle optometrist since it opened, I knew Wincanton was a great town to work in, but I had no idea if I could make the practice work with me at the helm. Running a business is an altogether different ball game to being employed and it’s been a steep but generally enjoyable learning curve. There are obviously days when I wonder what madness overtook me when I said “ I want to run this by myself”,  but then I get to work and I am greeted by my wonderful staff and my equally wonderful patients and I think “yes, I am doing the right thing here”. I get to make a significant difference to people’s lives and that, for me, is what it is all about.

The refurbishment was all about bringing the front of house displays up to date and making our customer experience even better than it already is. I hope to be here for at least another 10 years, but don’t ask me to do another major refurbishment! Can I get back in my consulting room, where I belong, so I can have a rest please?”

To celebrate 15 years in business, Sarah organized a 15 day prize giveaway running from 1st to 18th May. Prizes were announced every day on the Sarah Gibson Optometrist Facebook page.