The Face Behind the Puddleduck

The Face Behind the Puddleduck

Puddleduck opened its doors at Number 1 Drake's Way in Lyme Regis, on the unexpectedly sunny Easter weekend this spring!
So we thought it was time you got to know Tomi, the lady behind Puddleduck and find out how Puddleduck came into her life!

So Tomi, tell us about Puddleduck!
Puddleduck is a real Aladdin's cave of toys, educational resources and crafts! We are tucked in Drake's Way, just off Lyme Regis' high street, in what was many years ago the old stables of the neighbouring Red Lion Hotel. We want to support children's learning through creative and curious play with high-quality toys and resources!

What drew you to living in Lyme Regis?
Well, for me it felt like a natural next step! I lived in London for 30 years, where I raised my two daughters. We used to come to Lyme on family holidays and absolutely fell in love. So when it came time to move out of the city, here seemed like the obvious choice. I have been here for 2 years now and am still loving it!

Your background is in teaching, how does that influence the shop?
I was an early years teacher and coordinator for years, which taught me the power of quality learning resources, that properly support children's development. I am always on hand in the shop to help you find the perfect product for you and your child, whatever their age and ability! I know how hard it can be for people who home-school their children or want to give their children extra support in their education and development, to find resources to use at home - So many come in big 'class sized' packs! At Puddleduck people can buy quality learning resources in individual sets and of course I am always happy to advise and demonstrate how to use the products!

Puddleduck is an 'inclusive shop' - Can you tell us more about this?
It is so important to me that everyone should feel welcome in the shop and enjoy their shopping experience! I want the shop to be as open and inclusive to all of our customers as possible. As part of being an inclusive, autism-friendly shop, we offer private shopping experiences, outside of our normal opening times. This allows customers to contact us and let us know of their specific needs, so that we can make a shopping experience tailored to them! We have recently applied for an Autism Friendly Award with the National Autistic Society, so we're keeping our fingers crossed on that one!

And that's all we have time for today! We look forward to seeing you at Puddleduck very soon!


  • Such a wonderful addition to the town. My children adore playing the duck fishing game together and my daughter has just worn her wings to be “queen of the butterflies” for Halloween.

    Sarah on

  • Hi Tomi. We have just returned from a very wet half term break near Lyme Regis. One of the highlights of our stay was discovering your magical little shop. My 6 year old granddaughter Belle has autism and struggles with sensory issues. You were so welcoming and knowledgable about her needs and it was such a pleasure to feel so included by you. You have such a wonderful array of toys and resources and we will be regular visitors . I have received the parcel and we are all mesmerised by the Pluffle so thank you. Best Wishes with your lovely shop. You have certainly achieved your aim of making it an inclusive environment and made the world a kinder place. Love Jenny and Belle

    Jenny Bigmore on

  • I knew there was something different about Puddleduck within a minute of entering the shop. What a wonderful place! My son is 7, autistic and scared to death of dogs. However, with your gentle approach and continued attention, he was quickly engaged in and enjoying Canoodle 3D and then went on to stroke Muffin and hold her paw! Amazing! There is definitely something special about you, Tomi. I thought you must have some experience with young children, maybe as a teacher and possibly with Special Needs Children so I HAD to look you up when I got home. Thank you for taking time with my son. You have really made a difference and I hope your business is a great success!
    Kind regards, Jennie x

    Jennifer on

  • Just returned from a weekend visit to Lyme Regis with my 3yr old Grandaughter, Molly. We both loved your shop and were made to feel very welcome. Molly calls it ’Granny’s Fairy Shop’ and she’s asked if we can come back soon!
    I bought lots of little bits to make a Fairy garden for Molly and will send you a picture when we have completed it.
    Thank you Tomi and Muffin for looking after us so well.
    Love Pippa and Molly x

    Pippa Belsey on

  • Congratulations Tomi!

    Your shop looks amazing and so fun, I am so excited to visit .
    Wishing you a wonderful summer in your new shop,
    Have fun!!!

    Ete on

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