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New Copydiss owner reveals big plans for business

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A thriving Diss business has a new owner – and will soon be operating from new premises.

Elaine Verhaag took over Copydiss on Monday – swapping a three-hour commute to London for a 15-minute car drive from her home in North Lopham – and plans to move the business to the middle of Mere Street.

Copydiss was established nearly 20 years ago on the corner of St Nicholas’ Street and Shelfanger Road and is to move to premises next to the former Hemstock jeweller’s shop.

Alison Ellis and manager Elaine Verhaag. Picture by Mecha Morton.
Alison Ellis and manager Elaine Verhaag. Picture by Mecha Morton.

Although the business is moving, staying with it are Alison Ellis, wife of the former owner Bob Ellis, and Rosie Aldous, who between them have spent 16 years with Copydiss.

Mrs Verhaag and her Dutch husband have been living in North Lopham for 10 years since he retired from the Alliance and Leicester. She, however, has continued as a business analyst with a background in information technology, working mainly with insurance companies.

“I enjoyed working in London and the buzz that goes with it, but, over the last few years, I had thought how lovely it would be to work locally,” said Mrs Verhaag.

She had good memories of working in a shop some time ago and thought about a jewellery or gift shop in Diss. At about the same time, Mr Ellis put Copydiss up for sale and Mrs Verhaag saw his “Be your own boss” notice in the window.

“Although I was self-employed as a business consultant, this is the first time I have been completely independent,” she said. “I am very excited about it, although there is an awful lot to learn. Every customer seems to need something slightly different.”

Copydiss has grown from its core business and includes such services as business stationery and design and Mrs Verhaag sees big opportunities for expanding its personalised items – “anything that has got a name on it,” she said.

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