AN award-winning family opticians, with a good ear as well as good eye for musicians, has expanded its business into Saddleworth.
Less than two years after opening premises in Meltham, Allegro Optical is now welcoming clients to a new location in the heart of Greenfield.
And there was a musical fanfare to celebrate the launch of the latest store at the Greenfield Centre, Wellington Road.
Owned by husband and wife Sheryl Doe and Stephen Tighe the business employs seven family members across two generations.
It has led to a shortlisting for the regional finals of the Family Business of The Year Awards 2019 – a potential new accolade for Allegro, previously runners-up for a Service Excellence Award.
Additionally, Allegro are the first and only opticians in the UK to become registered practitioners of the British Association for Performing Arts Medicine (BAPAM).
Explains Sheryl: “BAPAM clinicians have to demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the demands of a performing arts career including playing-related and career-threatening conditions, performance anxiety and stress.
“As a result of gaining BAPAM registration, we now work with many musical institutions delivering bespoke eyecare to professional, amateur and student musicians alike.”
However, Sheryl is keen to stress: “While we are really proud of our unique music specialism, we are a general practice optician as well as a specialist musicians optician. Clients can come to us even if they don’t play an instrument.”
Sheryl, named Entrepreneur of the Year in 2018, is also proud of her staff helping to keep Allegro one step ahead of the competition.
Optometrist Sara Ackroyd has more than 20 years’ experience, is local to the area and is well-known around Saddleworth.
James Brooks who plays euphonium with Oldham Band (Lees), is a clinical support technician while Sheryl’s son Zac is responsible for glazing Yorkshire optical laboratory-made lenses on site in Meltham.
The same laboratory manufactures Allegro’s musicians lenses to the company’s design bucking the trend of many opticians using off the shelf lenses.
An ethical optician stocking many British designed and manufactured spectacle frames to help the local and the UK economy, Allegro are members of the Holme Valley Fairtrade Association.
Sheryl, who plays third cornet for Diggle B brass band, added: ”We not only specialise in helping musicians, we also provide colour analysis and palette consultations, looking at the way clients’ skin tone, eye and hair colour work together.
“We can even help those who have been previously been told that they can’t wear contact lenses and provide multifocal contact lenses to mature performers.”
With free parking at the Greenfield Centre, formerly Lifestyle gym, Allegro accepts NHS and private clients.
Customers already include musicians from the RTE Concert Orchestra, Dublin, Halle Orchestra plus the English National Opera and English National Ballet.
Husband Stephen, formerly a highly successful Musical Director of the local Dobcross Silver Brass Band, Carlton Main and Ever Ready, is now music director of Kippax Brass Band and a composer and arranger of some repute.
He also has a wealth of business expertise having worked in financial services for Rothschilds, Schroders, Sedgwick – Noble Lowndes and others.
“It’s an odd mix but it works,” smiled Sheryl, shortlisted for the 2018 Dispensing Optician of the Year and making it through to the final three. “We offer a lot of services other opticians don’t.”