THIS WEB SITE IS DEDICATED TO MY WIFE SHEILA, WHO PASSED AWAY OCTOBER 21, 2000 AFTER A TEN MONTH COURAGEOUS BATTLE WITH MULTIPLE CANCERS.
THIS PHOTOGRAPH WAS THE LAST PHOTOGRAPH WE HAD TAKEN TOGETHER. IT WAS TAKEN ONE WEEK TO THE DAY PRIOR TO HER DEATH.
Sheila and I had had the American dream of owing our own business from the first day we landed in Detroit on August 19, 1969. We had emigrated with our two children Sian & Rans from a small coal mining village in S.Wales, U.K. called Cwmgwrach ( Valley of the Witches ) Our stay in Detroit was short lived, as my job as a cutting tool salesman brought me to Huber Heights, Ohio in 1971.
Christmas of 1996 an offer was made to us by the owner of a small British store in Tipp City,Ohio. To buy it’s assets and establish our own business and identity. Our American dream was just about to become true. We bought the assets and established our company under the name of Wise Choice British Foods,Gifts & Candies Inc; The name Wise being an acronym for (W)ales, (I)reland, (S)cotland & (E)ngland.
We opened the store on June 2, 1997. The opening ceremony was performed by the Mayor of Huber Heights and his wife. Sheila ran the store full time until her illness struck her in December 1999. Today our business has expanded onto the internet, where you can order on line from any part of the States or Worldwide.
Our business goal has and always will be, to serve you the customer, in the best possible manner we can. We will treat you with respect and honesty, as you are the greatest asset our company has.
“Taid Harry and his four precious angels.”
Taid is the Welsh word for grandfather. In this photograph taken on April 12th, 2003, I am accompanied by my son Rans’ two children, Sierra on my right shoulder and Chelsea at my right knee. My daughter Sian’s two children are to my left, Megan and Matthew. These four are my true, most valuable personal assets.
Celebrating 10 Years
On June the 2nd, 2007 Wise Choice British Foods celebrated their 10th Anniversary in business.
A great deal of thanks is owed to many people for making Wise Choice the success that it is. My deceased wife Sheila for having the dream that launched our venture into the business world and for being there for the first two years before cancer ended her life. To my two children Sian and Rans for their support through that difficult time in life, when the business became less of a concern than life itself. To my sister Margaret who stepped in at that time, to run the store for us and to Daphne White, a friend of the family, who had recently retired and came to our assistance when Margaret returned to Michigan. I’m sorry to say that Daphne no longer works for us and is now enjoyinjg a much deserved retirement.
A special thank you goes out to Carolyn Lamb, a nurse who took special care of my wife at Miami Hospital during her illness and became a true friend to myself after her passing and assisted me in many ways to run the store. Chris James of www.websourcellc.com for launching my website in 2002 and turning our business into a truly international retail store, that ships worldwide and not just in the Huber Heights, Ohio area. A BIG thank you to all the wonderful people that have worked for me in one capacity or another to make the business a success. Greg Mackenzie from S. Africa, Chetna Pithadia from India, Daphne from Cheltenham, England, Susan Jolly, her daughter Katie Marsh and son Christopher James from Rotherham, England, Roy Vernon, England and last but not least, Debbie Bischof our ‘resident alien’ who is from Dayton. My thanks to them all for being a part of my business world, but more importantly, being really good and loyal friends.
Without you, our loyal customers who have supported us through good and bad times by entrusting us with your business, we would not be the success that we are today. After all, it is your loyalty and support that has enabled us to grow to provide you with even a larger selection of products from Jolly Olde Britain and Ireland. We thank you and hope that you will give us your support in the future and even recommend us to your family members and friends, here and around the world.
The Final Chapter
Our Story Continues
A customer of ours from Lookout, California, named Allison, had her parents Arnold and Elizabeth, who live in Nixa, Mo. stop by the store today while travelling on I-70 to their destination in NY for a motorcycle convention.
I was so impressed with their enthusiasm for life and the inspiration they should be for all senior citizens, including myself, that I wanted to share these photos with you here on our website. Why did I want to do this?
Arnold is 86 years young and Elizabeth is 81
….they have been married for nearly 62 years and have four children. What an inspiration this couple is to all of us. Thank you both for stopping by and giving me the pleasure of sharing a cup of tea and Digestives with you, and for having you view the Best Darn British Store in the States. It was well worth breaking into my beauty sleep with your phone call, telling me to meet you at the store at 9 o’clock am.