VEGAN treats may be all the rage at the moment but a Swindon sweet shop has been leading the way for more than a decade.

Sweets Galore, which is celebrating its 11th anniversary, has even created a dedicated area at its store in the Brunel Centre for treats that do not contain animal products like gelatine.

"Vegetarian and vegan sweeties are all the craze now but we have always done this along with dairy free and sugar free treats," said Anne McCulloch.

“They are just as popular as any other sweet in here, we even have a section for them now because of the high demand we have received.

“It’s about tailoring to customers’ needs and giving them something that still tastes nice.”

The shop only came about after a chance meeting when she was on a trip in town with her son Ian and stopped at a confectionery kiosk to get him some sweets.

While they chatted the owner happened to mention it was up for sale and Anne decided she would snap it up on the spot.

The former sales advisor came out of retirement to co-manage the shop with her son.

When they first took over the big trend at the time was American candy which is full of sugar and completely different to what is popular in today’s market.

But Anne decided they would go for a more traditional old-fashioned sweet shop. The pink dolly mixture-style decor echoed their approach.

Anne told the Advertiser: “We love our customers and have a lot of regulars, we treat them like family. If we know they have a special occasion coming up, we make sure we have a card and gift waiting for them.

“In this shop we make sure our customers don’t feel rushed and have the time to browse without any pressure.”

Staff will often let them sample the wares before buying. “We would rather people buy a product that they want instead of taking a risk and being disappointed after."

She admitted that even though her favourite sweet is a dusted milk bottle, her passion isn’t for the sweets but the love of seeing people happy.

“A sweet transports people back to a point or memory of their life.

"They reminisce for that split second and you can see the happiness on their face whether that’s an adult or a child.”

The store attracts people of all ages and its oldest client is 108 years old. Her favourite sweet treat is sherbet lemons.

The shop also used to give British soldiers out in Afghanistan something to look forward to by shipping out sweets donated by customers to Camp Bastion.

Now Ian he has followed in the footsteps of his mother and has set up his own business, Desserts and More, which shares the same space in The Crossing, in The Brunel Shopping Centre.

He and his mother had considered whether they should set up shop at a new site, possibly at the Outlet Village, but they decided against the move.