ANDREW Broom used to deliver the Chard and Ilminster News for a living.

But two decades ago, he and his family decided to make a big switch in trades, and have been a town centre staple ever since.

Andrew runs PAWS Pet Shop with his wife Serena and his parents Gillian and Brian Broom.

His sister, Tracy Gaydon, even offers dog grooming as part of PAWS service.

They took over their current store two decades ago, and soon spread out to open a branch in South Petherton too.

Andrew said: “We came into this about 21 or 22 years ago.

“We have also had the South Petherton shop for about 18 years.

“It was already a pet shop and we were looking to change trades.

“We were just looking for a shop and we wanted to go into the pet trade.

“Our family has always shown and bred West Highland terriers, and my sister is a dog groomer.

“We have even shown at crufts and won best bitch.

“She does all sorts of prices and likes to keep her prices low, better than a lot of groomers in the area.

“She would rather the job was done properly and not cost the earth.

“That is the same for everything we do. we like to keep prices down.

“Most of our stuff is already discounted.”

The Brooms have always lived locally, and had high hopes when they started PAWS.

“It was always the plan to have more than one,” Andrew added.

“My wife runs the other one. My parents are partners of the business as well, but they are moving out.

“I have always lived in Ilminster, all my life I have.

“I like talking to customers and Ilminster is a very friendly place.

“People are friendly, they do speak to each other and say good morning too.

“It is good that people bother. A lot of people really look to shop with independents .

“Especially in our trade, people look for that one on one service.”

In addition to the exclusive voucher in the May editions of the News, PAWS are runnign a second discount for all customers.

Professional groomer Tracy is offering 20 per cent off all trims booked before May 19.

The voucher can be used on products in either PAWS pet stores, or on deliveries.

Andrew added: “We also deliver as far as Axminster and Honiton, and then to Somerton and Langport, to Taunton, and then to Yeovil and Ilchester as well.”