Friday, 19 April 2013 00:00

Meet the owners

Written by  The All Things Norfolk Team
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Meet the owners

Michael and Helen Shepherd own M Shepherd Optometrist in Long Stratton. The Allthingsnorfolk team caught up with Michael and Helen to find out a little bit more about running M Shepherd Optometrist, the importance of regular eye checks and of course why they love Norfolk so much.


Tell us a little bit about the history of M Shepherd Optometrist

M Shepherd Optometrist opened in January 2012 and is the first opticians in Long Stratton for 10 years. We are a family business run by husband and wife team Michael and Helen Shepherd with the help of Helen’s mum Judy on reception.

Michael is an experienced Optometrist, previously working in a leading independent practice in East Anglia for over 13 years before deciding to set up his own practice.

What makes Long Stratton the ideal place for your business?

We live in a little village about 3.5 miles away and so have been using the shops and doctors, etc. in Long Stratton for a few years. It had all the other health and beauty services available such as the doctors, dentists, hairdressers and beauticians but was lacking an optician. Knowing the area and the services already available made Long Stratton the perfect choice for our business.

What do you enjoy most about running M Shepherd Optometrist and what is the biggest challenge?

We love meeting all our patients and pride ourselves on spending as much time as the patient needs to choose the right frames, etc. No-one is ever rushed and we always enjoy a good chat!

Choosing stock was challenging to start with as we had no previous patient base to refer to but having been open for just over a year now we have a good idea of our patient base and what products and styles they want.

How often should people have an eye test and why is regular testing so important?

Everybody should have an eye test every 2 years, some people should be seen more regularly – this will be advised to them at the end of their eye test. Regular testing is very important to make sure that your eyesight both distance and near is as good as possible and also to check the overall health of the eye that can help pick up eye problems or general health problems.

Share with us a typical eye test at M Shepherd Optometrist and the types of technology used

An eye test will take about 30 to 45 minutes and then additionally time after that to choose new glasses if needed. As well as checking the far and near sight with any prescription that may be required we also check the health of the front and back of the eye as well as additional tests for certain people like the eye pressures and the peripheral vision and digital photography of the eye so we can compare it at every visit to look for any changes.

With the introduction of designer frames over the past few years has this seen more people choosing glasses over contact lenses and what are the most popular frames that you sell?

I think more people are choosing glasses now as so many wonderful designs are available to suit everybody. Some of our most popular designer brands are Gucci, Jimmy Choo, Radley, Boss Hugo Boss, and Marc by Marc Jacobs.

What advice would you give for somebody who can't decide between glasses and contact lenses?

A lot of people wear both as it is a good idea to give your eyes a rest from contact lenses 1 or 2 days a week or for a few hours each evening.

With hopefully the summer coming up tell us about the threats of exposure to the sun on your eyes and how important it is to have a quality pair of sunglasses?

It is very important to wear good quality sunglasses with 100% UV protection as that absorbs a lot of the UV light that would otherwise enter the eye and can cause premature ageing of the eye.

Do you think a bypass for Long Stratton will benefit the local independent businesses or have a detrimental effect?

A bypass for Long Stratton will be good for the local community and local independent businesses. We do not really get any passing trade from the busy A140 so a bypass will be of benefit to the local independent businesses as it should make Long Stratton more of a quiet and relaxing place to shop.

If you could have 2 people in the world to visit your business and prescribe glasses to (one male and one female) , who would they be and why and what frames would you prescribe them?

Roger Moore as he had always been a favourite actor of Michael’s and Kate Silverton as she always has a nice selection of glasses when reading the news on the BBC. We would like to be able to add to her collection with maybe a pair of our Art Couture rimless frames by Flair which are handmade in Germany.

When not at M Shepherd Optometrist what do you enjoy doing in Norfolk?

We have a Springer Spaniel called Millie who we love walking, the countryside where we live is beautiful and we often see barn owls, deer and other wildlife which is always a privilege to see in their natural environment.

Helen is a keen cyclist, she only took up cycling last August and has entered the Norwich 100 raising funds for British Heart Foundation and so is in training for this.

Which is your favourite place in Norfolk and why?

This is a difficult question as there are so many lovely places in Norfolk. We love the countryside around where we live but we also love the Norfolk coast which is great for walking. 

To find out more about M Shepherd Optometrist along with a special offer please click here

Last modified on Wednesday, 02 January 2019 18:37

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