The Thatched Roadhouse cottage where Martlesham Antiques is based.

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When and why did you open your premises?

I opened the shop in 1984 when it became vacant. It’s a great location just outside the picturesque town of Woodbridge, standing on four acres with a large car park, and now with a freshly thatched roof which has given the shop a new lease of life.

What’s the ethos of the shop?

It is just myself and my son managing the business and we carry a large and varied stock. We try to have something for everyone.

Everything on the shop floor is all ready to go straight into the client’s property, as we have our own restorers and polishers.

How has the passing trade changed since you’ve been open?

When we first opened we had a large passing trade but this has changed somewhat with the rise of the internet – much of our sales are done online. We have a photography bay at the back of the shop, and as each fresh item comes in my son then photographs it and puts it online. Online sales have helped us immensely and I think people have more confidence now in buying antiques online.

Given an unlimited budget, what is one change you would make to the shop?

Although we have nine large showrooms on two floors we can always do with more space so it would be nice to expand the shop to accommodate this. Finding space for fresh items can sometimes be a challenge.

What’s the advantage of visiting a shop?

When it comes to purchasing antiques I think you can’t beat actually seeing the item in the flesh rather than on a screen, but this is just my own personal opinion.

I still love having a shop and it’s always nice when people come and have a good look around – you have more of a chance of selling them something else.

Martlesham Antiques, The Thatched Roadhouse, Main Road, Martlesham, Woodbridge, IP12 4RJ