Woman who 'never thinks too far ahead' reaches 11 years in business

Jacky Hibbert of Jak Hibs Soham

Jacky Hibbert opened Jak Hibs in Soham in July 2011 and has been running it ever since. Pictured is Jacky in 2020 as part of Archant's Shop Local campaign. - Credit: Archant

A woman who does not like to think too far ahead hopes that she can continue to diversify her shop after reaching 11 years in business. 

Jacky Hibbert first opened Jak Hibs in Soham on July 4, 2011 with the aim of selling a range of different items. 

“When I was younger, there were all kinds of shops in Soham; you could get nearly anything,” she said.  

“I thought instead of going out of town, if I had somewhere to sell everything I could, that would help.” 

Jacky, who ran the shop on Churchgate Street until October 2016, moved premises to Soham High Street where she sells items such as toys, stationery, hardware and seasonal products. 

It was an idea that Jacky wanted to develop after previously helping families find out more details about their ancestors while at Soham Museum. 

Outside Jak Hibs shop on Soham High Street

Jacky Hibbert, who runs Jak Hibs, ran a home delivery service when the shop was forced to close during the Covid-19 pandemic. - Credit: Ben Jolley

“I thought selling lots of things would appeal to more people to come in and have a look around, rather than concentrate on one theme,” said Jacky. 

“It seems to work 11 years later and I’m still here; I never think too far ahead and what will be, will be.” 

One of the toughest challenges Jacky has faced since opening Jak Hibs was the Covid-19 pandemic, forcing her to intermittently close between 2020 and 2021. 

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So, she thought a home delivery service could work which ultimately turned out to be a success. 

“Whatever obstacles in the way, there are ways round them,” Jacky recalled. 

Jak Hibs shop on Soham High Street

Jak Hibs moved from Churchgate Street to Soham High Street, where it remains to this day. - Credit: Archant

Jacky, who has two employees, delivered items in Soham as well as villages including Fordham, Isleham and Wicken. 

One customer who visited Jak Hibs on July 5 complimented Jacky and hailed her business as “the best shop in Soham for years”. 

The shop also boasts items that may not have been showcased before, such as handbags, which could be one reason for Jak Hibs’ success so far. 

“It’s about trying to diversify and I think this is one reason why I’ve kept going because we are always adding to it,” Jacky added. 

“I never thought about (running Jak Hibs for) 11 years because you never know what will happen.  

“I still enjoy it and they say ‘find a job you like and you never have to work another day in your life’.”