'End of an era' as Kirkby shopkeepers hand over to new owners after 20 years
After 20 years serving the Kirkby community, the owners of a traditional family-run corner shop say it is the ‘end of an era’ after selling the business.
John Blount and Hayley Smith have been familiar faces to customers behind the counter at The Bottom Shop on Nuncargate Road in the town for around two decades.
But the couple have finally decided to sell the former Bargain Booze premises to spend more time with their family and enjoy other interests.
The shop has now been bought by first-time business owners Vijay and Meenaben Odedra – who sold their home in Leicester to fund the purchase.
A post by an emotional John and Hayley on The Bottom Shop’s Facebook page read: “Well, that’s all folks, the end of and era. Would just like to say a big thank you to all our staff, past and present (Jo and Jenn) who have worked so hard for us, and to all our loyal customers and friends who have supported our little corner shop.
"Good luck to Meena and Vijay on their new business venture. Goodbye, and best wishes from John, Hayley and Dot.”
Specialist business property advisers Christie & Co handled the sale of the shop.
It says it received interest from ‘multiple independent operators’ who were attracted by the store’s ‘good reputation, growing turnover and spacious flat’ which provided an additional income.
Dave Morris – director of Christie & Co’s retail team, which handled the sale – said: “John and Hayley worked really hard to build a great business that is perfect for a first-time buyer.
"Their store standards and customer service have given them a great reputation locally, and the demand for convenience retail assets remains so strong, we were able to achieve a swift deal at a great price. It has been a pleasure to act for John and Hayley and we wish Mr and Mrs Odedra the best of luck.”
The former owners said it had been ‘great to serve the local community’ and thanked customers for their support, while wishing the new owners ‘the best’ for their future.
Mr and Mrs Odedra have no immediate plans to make any significant changes.