FOR nearly 35 years Jill Stanford and husband Jim have put the greens into Greenfield.
They have also supplied generations of villagers with fresh vegetables, fish and other groceries from their independently run Greenbridge Lane shop.
But on April 4, the pair will till up for the final time and enter into well-deserved retirement.
Jill admits they will do so with mixed feelings but says the time is finally right.
“I have got a husband who is a little bit worn out,” she smiled. “You have got to work to live, not live to work.
“It is not a knee jerk reaction. It was a big decision and we have been thinking about it for the last few months.”
“Our little business has been very kind to us but our time is now.
“We didn’t change the world but we steadily grew. I would like to think we touched some people along the way and they touched us with their loyalty.
“It is all a positive apart from saying goodbye to my lovely customers. And the staff. I know it has come across as a shock to them.
“Your staff are the face of your business and I have had some wonderful staff over the years.
“We have been richer for having people like that in our lives.”
Jill admits they considered selling on the business, previously home to the Co-op bakery, but ultimately decided not to.
“Independent businesses like ours are few and far between. The thought of someone not running it the way we have was a big factor in the decision.
“It has been a wonderful, sustainable little business that has seen me through cancer and Jim breaking his back.“We will be forever grateful to the people who have supported us; some of them have been with us since the day we first opened.
“So, we have decided not sell the goodwill and will make a decision about the building which we own later down the line.
“For now, it is exciting. We are just going to give ourselves a few months off.
“We just want to enjoy a weekend when we can put two days together.
“Jim is an avid fisherman but it is a hobby he has not been able to pursue. He has been the one getting up at 3.30am, six-days a week so I might send him off on holiday.
“I am a great believer in once one door closes another opens so I am sure something will find us.
“But that is for down the line. You never say never but that is certainly us. It is the end of an era.
“I would like to thank everyone who has supported us and kept our little business sustainable, ethical and a little bit fabulous.”