World’s oldest green grocers closes after 130 years
The world’s oldest green grocers is set to finally close after more than 130 years selling fruit and veg.
The Grade II listed thatched property, built in 1610, has been an independent family-run business since the late 19th century.
Jackson’s County Fruit Stores in Stafford sells everything from traditional potatoes, apples and pears to exotic Thai and Caribbean vegetables.
The business has passed through six monarchs, 35 Prime Ministers and two World Wars.
But it will finally cease trading on March 31 after current owner Brenda Jackson, 75, decided to retire having succumbed to competition from supermarkets and online shopping.
The grandmother-of-six inherited the store in 1959 alongside husband Derek.
However, Derek passed away in 2000 aged 62, leaving Brenda to run the store alongside children Mandy, 50, Terry, 52, and Yvonne Game, 56.
But after six decades in charge, the pensioner finally took the decision to sell the stunning property.
The historic building is now on the market for £450,000.
Brenda said: ‘The shop has been a massive part of my life, it feels like it has always be there.
‘As soon as we inherited it, I knew that I would working here for a very long time. In truth, it’s the only job I’ve ever had.
‘I remember when I first started working at the shop, I was very nervous and it took a long time to get to know things.
‘But over the years I’ve ended up doing all of the different roles – front of house, in the office, cleaning, all sorts of things.
‘I know the shop inside and out. It’s my life, really.
‘It has changed a lot over the years, which is inevitable when you’ve got competition from supermarkets and the internet.
‘There used to be a bit more hustle and bustle, which there isn’t any more because people are going elsewhere.’
Daughter Yvonne said her mother is amazing, adding: ‘To still be doing it at 76 years of age. We’re all so proud of her.
‘It’s amazing to think how long it’s been run as a fruit and veg shop, and how many people must have walked through the doors.
‘It’s like a piece of local history, which makes it all the sadder to see it go.
‘But my mum has always been the one to call the shots, and as soon as she decided that she didn’t want to do it anymore, we respected that.
‘It’s got to come to an end at some point, even after 130-odd years.’