THE taste of success is definitely sweet for one Darlington businesswoman.

Darlington’s Retro Sweetshop has been named the town’s best independent retailer - and could go on to win the UK title.

The shop’s owner, Sanae Aljabory, started the venture from her house less than two years ago and has seen it go from strength to strength.

Now based in a thriving town centre shop, the business keeps its loyal customers sweet with a mix of retro and American confectionary, including milkshakes and a take on the famous Redcar lemon-top ice-cream.

Retro Sweetshop also offers a home delivery service, allowing customers to have their mix-ups and chocolates dropped off at their doorstep.

Ms Aljabory said she was overwhelmed after winning the town’s heat of the annual Kerching independent retail awards, set up to celebrate the country’s best independent retailers.

She said: “It’s overwhelming because I only set the business up a year and a bit ago and since then I’ve seen it grow a lot, more than I expected.

“I’ve had a lot of support from customers who’ve been coming since it started in my house and I think we won because I always try to remember my customers and make shopping here a personal experience.

“I’m always trying to bring in more things and do something different all the time. I look around me now and think what more could we do? But I’d love to expand one day.”

Retro Sweetshop was one of 13 Darlington businesses to compete in the town heat of the awards and will now compete against 80 other retailers from across the country.

To vote for the business to win the Independent of the Year award, visit

The business with the most likes and shares at 5pm on Wednesday, July 30 will net the coveted title.