Youings Toy Shop worker celebrates 30 years’ service

Published on: 26th October 2020

Sally Toleman continues to enjoy her role at Youings of Barnstaple and says she has no plans to leave.


The 70-year-old has become the longest serving member of staff at Youings toy shop. Working as a  sales assistant, Sally has become extremely popular with colleagues and customers alike over the years. She continues to work part time in the store

A much-loved mainstay of Barnstaple High Street, Youings first opened its doors in 1958, opposite where the family first started trading as a tobacconist in 1884. It has been run since by the family through four generations and is Barnstaple’s oldest retail family business.

Proprietor Peter Youing said as a family concern, the business tended to see loyal staff staying for a long time, adding:  “Sally has been an absolute gem, very adaptable, and she has moved from different departments. She is great with the customers, very knowledgeable and has learned a lot.”

Owner Mary Youing originally interviewed Sally for her position, which she saw advertised in the shop window while passing by. Mary was delighted to present Sally with a bouquet of flowers to mark the milestone.

Reflecting on her many years’ experience, Sally commented: “The business has changed a lot, we have had alterations in the shop, different stock that comes in, but the Youings are just a wonderful family.”

The toy shop celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2018, having started life as a model shop and quickly expanding into toys. The family now run both retail premises and a wholesale arm, and both the model and toy businesses have developed a loyal customer base in the local area.


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