Old friends set up new business
Two close friends who have a passion for caravanning could never have dreamt that a chat while in the New Forest could have led to a brand new caravan dealership being opened next month – but that's exactly what is about to happen.
Jamie Hibbs and Mark Pearce, who have known each other since childhood, will open the new exclusive Elddis dealership, Wiltshire Caravans, on the West Wilts Trading Estate, in Westbury, in February.
The firm friends, along with their wives and children, spend most summers holidaying together in their caravans.
Last New Year's Eve they went, along with 70 other friends, to a camp site in Padstow, in Cornwall to enjoy the festivities.
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The pair, who have both enjoyed caravan holidays since childhood, said the idea came about after a chat in the New Forest last year. Jamie, 42, who is the company's sales director, said: "The whole idea came about when we were away on holiday at a camp site in the New Forest with our families.
"I remember we were chatting one evening and said how amazing it would to set up a one-stop shop caravan dealership, as we both love caravanning so much.
"When we got back we started to look into it, but it wasn't until a few months ago that the perfect site became available.
" As soon as we saw it, we just knew it was exactly what we'd been looking for."
The company will not only offer sales, but also a three-bay service, repairs and maintenance workshop, caravan essentials and equipment, as well as caravan storage.
They also hope to employ several local people once the business has been established for a few months. Asked why they chose Elddis, managing director, Mark said it was the natural choice for them.
He said: "We chose Elddis because we are very familiar with the caravan manufacturer and they build great quality caravans. Another positive is that we will be the only Elddis dealership in Wiltshire and for a 30-mile radius, so we hope to corner the market in this area."
Mark, who is also an electrician and runs his own business, said more people than ever are holidaying in the UK these days as the cost of foreign holidays had gone up so much, particularly with flight taxes.
The dealership will stock the Elddis Xplore, Avante, Affinity, Crusader plus the luxury Buccaneer range.