Exmoor Teddy Bears is a well-established family run business based from Minehead, West Somerset. It first appeared in Dunster (a medieval village two miles from Minehead) in 1993 operating out of the lovely Spears Cross Hotel. After establishing itself as a quality business appealing to collectors, the time was right to move into new premises and that was achieved a couple of years later with a move to a shop unit on The Steep in Dunster. Here the business was to flourish not only with the support of many collectors but also by offering high quality plush toys purchased by many visitors to the area. A strong local trade was also appearing as the business became very well known in the area; in addition, mail order was also becoming a very important part of the success story. Our first secure trading website was also created in late 2003 and was replaced entirely in 2015 with the development of our new website that you are reading this from. The connection with Dunster was to continue until 2006 when the Dunster store closed for good and all business was transferred into the Minehead store that had been opened in 2004. The Minehead store offered much more space and a fantastic location on the main avenue. Over the years the business has also trialled stores in Exeter and Bridgwater but retained the Minehead location. During the spring of 2008 the business moved its Minehead store by just 2 doors to 58b The Avenue, a move that provided a very prominent shop site that was the first retail shop people come across if walking up the main Avenue from the sea front. This is where Exmoor Teddy Bears traded from until Autumn 2020 when all business was moved on-line.
The ownership of the business has only ever changed once, and the present owner Martin Kane has been with the business since 2003 when it was purchased by him from the original owner who started it all in 1993. Martin's wife, Elizabeth, returned to the business after a six-month absence due to maternity leave in early 2007. During early 2018 Elizabeth took over much of the day to day running of the business whilst Martin was appointed as the full time Retail Manager for the National Trust at Dunster Castle, although he still retained ownership of Exmoor Teddy Bears during his time there. Martin left the National Trust and returned to his previous role at Exmoor Teddy Bears in early 2019. Martin and Elizabeth Kane live in Minehead and have a lovely daughter, Theoni. The Exmoor Teddy Bears team from autumn 2020, is just Martin himself.
Martin comments, we pride ourselves on quality and only stock recognised brands that are renowned for being leaders in their field. Our ranges include Steiff, Ty, Keel Toys, Merrythought, Rainbow Designs and others. Minehead is a fantastic place which gives us a great quality of life as a family and to have a successful web-based business here is wonderful. The fact that the business sells soft toys is just amazing and we love every minute of it. We love to put our enthusiasm both for Minehead and teddy bears into the business and always strive to 'delight' our lovely and much valued customers.
Between 1993 and 2020 Exmoor Teddy bears has always operated through an actual retail shop as well as a trading website (since 2003). The COVID pandemic changed all that, we were a seasonal business in normal times, but the impact of COVID upon local trade was huge. The lease on our Minehead shop was due to renew in 2020 but the risk was too high to continue. Martin then moved the business totally on-line from Oct 2020 where it now continues to operate. Exmoor Teddy Bears has a long history and is well known in the area, the move to on-line only is but the start of a new chapter in the business's story.
If you are reading this then you have visited our website and we sincerely thank you for clicking on exmoorteddybears.com. Whether you choose to buy or not the fact you have come across our lovely business makes us grateful. I hope this page gives you some background to the history and passion that lives within the business that is Exmoor Teddy Bears.
Martin & Liz Kane