Kelly Westerman (pictured second right) began trading at Book It List Travel in her native Leeds last week and is now recruiting for two additional staff.
A member of Midcounties Co-operative Travel, the agency is housed inside a former pharmacy in Street Lane, Moortown, north of the city centre.
The shop is close to where Westerman started in travel as an apprentice in 1989, later becoming a junior consultant at another nearby store.
“I know the area really well and Street Lane is crying out for a good independent,” she said.
“Anyone can just book a holiday, but people still want that reassurance and service. I got the keys in March and, while I’ve been getting the shop ready, lots of people have been coming up and asking when we’re opening, so that’s really encouraging.
“I can see us selling a broad range of holidays. It’s an affluent area, so I imagine there will be lots of long-haul – Dubai, Maldives – stuff like that.”
Westerman, who has worked at a number of Co-op agencies during her career, explained the name of her business was coined during a Co-op conference following a conversation with a group of colleagues.
She said she hoped to add “a handful” more stores in future, earmarking Leeds city centre and Formby on Merseyside as areas for potential expansion.
“I would like to open a second store within the next two years,” she added. “After year one, if all goes well, then I’ll start going ahead with shop number two. Both of those areas really suit the market we’re trying to target.”