Welcome to Hemyock Thursday, July 25 2024 @ 01:42 am UTC

SPAR Shop Owner Finally Hangs Up The Keys

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The owner of a Hemyock community shop is to step down after 21 years.

Christine Stepney ran the village's SPAR store but is now selling up and handing over the reins to new owners.

Mrs Stepney and her late husband David took over the store in the Blackdown Hills in 1986 when it had just 250sqft of sales space and five stockrooms.


The shop at that time had no till, just a drawer to put money in.

Now it has 1,350 sq ft of retail space and modern scanning tills.

Mrs Stepney is selling the store to the family business of Gilletts of Callington Ltd, who currently operate more than 40 SPAR stores throughout Devon, Dorset and Cornwall.

Mrs Stepney said: "After 21 years in charge, I wanted to make all the hard work worthwhile and am delighted to be handing over the business to Gilletts.

"They will be preserving the special community atmosphere of the store by working closely with the experienced staff and our many local suppliers.

"This will give me the freedom to get involved with other aspects of village life and even new business opportunities, as well as spend more time with my family and friends."

On Wednesday, September 5, Mrs Stepney will be holding a party at the store to mark the 50th anniversary of SPAR in the UK and to give her the chance of saying thank you to customers and suppliers.

A grand draw with a three-burner barbeque and gas patio heater as prizes, and fundraising for the NSPCC will take place.