Susan Banks, owner of Faith & Begorra on Broadway, is part of what makes the Denville community so special. Always willing to lend a hand to a friend, customer, or neighbor, her giving spirit is no doubt one of the secrets of her success.
Thirty years in business is quite an accomplishment, congratulations! What are the secrets to your success?
Hard work, really hard work, and loving what you do. I think the type of business I have makes it fun. I get to go to Scotland and Ireland for my buying trips. I am afforded the opportunity to go to those same countries with shop owners across the US as guests of our vendors. Networking and support at its best.
What is your favorite part of owning your business?
Opening every box is like Christmas as you see your goods come, they are prepared to go on the floor, and you watch the end result of someone walking out the door with something I have researched and picked out for the shop.
What advice would you give a new business owner?
Most important, love what you are doing, because this will become a member of your family, and always have at the very least six months of expenses put aside for emergencies (the old advice of three months no longer holds).
What is a typical day like?
Depends on what I am doing. In the shop it is making sure the shop is tidy, placing orders, waiting on customers, filling website orders, pricing the boxes that come in (which involves converting from Euros or Pound Sterling to US$), waiting on customers and at end of day, vacuuming, boxes flattened for recycling, and garbage out.
What do you love most about your downtown Denville location?
Being in the heart of Denville, coming in early to say hello to the town workers who so lovingly take care of the flowers, empty the garbage and put our flags up and down. They truly are a caring group. I love my corner location, someone has found peace and prayer in my little corner on First Avenue, I have no idea who, and they have even decorated it. We are very easy to give direction to on the phone, we just say “two doors east of Denville Dairy.”
What is the furthest someone traveled to shop for their Communion items at your store?
Ireland! She purchased a dress made in Ireland. The young girl has an Auntie that lives in this area, she flew over for a long girls weekend with her mom in 2019. Her sister did the same in 2017! The furthest one of our dresses has ever traveled was Japan! The grandparent came in, we video chatted styles and size, the family chose a dress and off it went to Japan.
Most unusual customer request?
Most unusual customer request… boy that is a very hard question. We sell a lot of food from Ireland, two deliveries a week. One time I sent a photo of a grand Irish Breakfast in an email, which is many items. I said we had everything but the eggs for your Irish Breakfast. A lady came in to place an order for the cooked Irish Breakfasts. I gently explained, we sold the fixings, she would have to do the cooking, she was not particularly happy with me.
Favorite bites to eat in town?
Carvers, or Summit and Main for lunch, Pasta Shop for take home treat, Denville Pizza my only go to pizza and family dinners, Denville Diner, Denville Seafood, and Beignets for a hot fresh donut. Fresh everything is my number one request. When our family of 14 is all together, then Second Half, or Thatchers is our go to. Church Street for a bagel. I do not drink coffee, me on caffeine would not be pretty. Denville Dairy is the most regular place I go :). The Fine Family generation 2 and 3 are the nicest people, I just love them and all the great hard working businesses in town.