A JEWELLERY business based at Viables Craft Centre celebrated its 35th anniversary by throwing a German-themed party for its loyal customers.

Petra Jewellery was set up in 1979 by German-born Petra Moore, and her daughter Mitch Lloyd, now runs the business.

Mitch was just four-years-old when Petra opened her shop at the craft centre, on The Harrow Way.

Money was tight and there was no cash to buy stock when Petra first started business, but she began to make a name for herself carrying out repairs and alterations for customers.

She certainly made a success of the business, which has expanded and developed over the years.

Earlier this year, Petra Jewellery was named as the Most Loved Jeweller for the whole of the UK by a poll on the BestOf website.

Petra said: “This accolade, coupled with the 35th anniversary of the shop’s launch, was a fantastic opportunity to throw a huge party in order to say thank-you for three-and-a-half decades of devoted customers and supporters.

“We’re so proud of what we’ve achieved, but we couldn’t do it without the support of our lovely customers.”

Dressed in their dirndls, Petra, Mitch and their lederhosen-clad team treated guests to Weiss Bier and freshly baked pretzels to a backdrop of lively Oktoberfest music.

Mitch said: “I took over running the business in February 2006. Business is going really well – I love trying out new things, some work, some don’t, holding events definitely do and we really enjoy them too.”

Mitch feels the business would have struggled to survive if Petra Jewellery was purely a retail business.

“Because we offer good old-fashioned gold-smithing services, with a very forward thinking slant, we’re finding it hard to find other jewellers locally that come close to offering what we do to our customers.

“Mum has always encouraged me to stick to our high standards so even when metal prices shot through the roof, we didn’t compromise by making our jewellery lighter or by stocking plated designs – it’s simply a false economy for both the customer and us.

“It would have meant that in the long-run we would end up having to repair stuff, and the customer would be disappointed.”