10 years in the making

Just a minute… With Paul Saxton

Hello Paul. How long have you had your newspaper business in Crouch End?

Next January (2019) I’ve been here for 40 years. My dad was here after the war about 34 years so between the two of us, about 74 years!

What do you enjoy about having your own business?

I suit myself because I’ve got nobody to answer to. If I want to go home, I go home! I like people. I like chatting to people. You have your good days and your bad days but I enjoy what I do. I never get the hump about coming to work.

What don’t you like about it?

I don’t like the fact that you don’t seem to have any time off. Your family life is dictated by the job. When you work seven days a week, you’ve got to have the right partner that understands it – luckily, I have. Without the right partner and family you can’t survive. I go to bed early every night. I’m up at 3.15 every morning and start work at 4.30 and that’s seven days a week. The hours are very hard!

What are the main challenges you face as a small independent business?

My biggest challenge is Waitrose. I’ve always accepted there’s competition, I don’t mind that, but giving away free newspapers is just not right. It’s not just newspapers; it’s the free coffee as well. There’s enough small coffee shops around crouch End and it’s the independents that are suffering.

What’s your biggest selling newspaper?

My biggest selling newspaper Monday to Saturday is The Guardian and on Sunday it’s probably joint between The Times and The Observer but definitely The Guardian in the week.

What’s one of your favourite films of all time and why?

My most favourite film is The Jazz Singer. I like Neil Diamond. I like the music and I’ve probably watched it more times then any other film. That’s just my personal taste!

Paul Saxton in his shop
A selection of magazines