End of an era at Exmouth shop

IT is the end of an era at a popular shop for one Exmouth couple – but the start of a new and exciting chapter for two ambitious businessmen. Brian Palmer and his wife, Alison, of Boarden Barn, spent their last day working at Moreys shop, in Exeter Road,

IT is the end of an era at a popular shop for one Exmouth couple - but the start of a new and exciting chapter for two ambitious businessmen.

Brian Palmer and his wife, Alison, of Boarden Barn, spent their last day working at Moreys shop, in Exeter Road, last Sunday, March 7.

The pair, who have managed the business for 21 years, have now retired. The shop has been taken over by Mark Gibbings and Gareth Curl - both former employees of the Palmers.

Mr Palmer, who used to run a dairy business earlier in his career, said: "I had mixed feelings on my last day.


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"I've been there a long time and met so many lovely people but we just thought it was time to move on really."

He said the new managers, Mark and Gareth, initially worked for him as paperboys.

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"We put it on the market and got a few offers but I asked them if they fancied taking it on. They jumped at it so things could not have worked out better really."

Recalling some of the significant moments during his reign as owner, Mr Parmer said: "Over the years we had been approached by some of the bigger boys, including Tesco, who were looking to buy us out.

"We always resisted that because we felt it was a community shop more than a multi-national sort of thing."

He added: "When we were in the throws of purchasing the shop, the alarm bells started to ring because opposite us there was an empty unit.

"Another company came in to look at Moreys to see what business it was doing on the pretence of buying it.

"Then they went on and opened opposite. We were thinking 'do we go ahead with this now?

"We thought, 'well, we've come so far, we'll go ahead and it forced us to have a shop fit sooner than we anticipated and it was the best thing that ever happened.

"The trade just took right off and we never looked back."

Mr Morey and his wife said they were now looking forward to taking a 'well-earned rest'.

"Over the years we have certainly met some colourful characters," Mr Morey explained.

"Some of the most bizarre things customers have asked us over the years were a request for a Christmas turkey on Christmas Day and pregnancy kits.

"We would like to thank our customers for their loyal support over the past 21 years and wish Mark and Gareth all the best."

Mark Gibbings, 35, said he was excited about the prospect of managing the shop.

"I was sorry to see Brian and Allison go. I've known them for so long now - they are friends.

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