Shop owners in Hemel Hempstead retire after serving the community for 13 years

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The owners of Ash Newsagents are looking forward to starting their next chapter

Owners of a newsagents in Hemel Hempstead will be retiring next week after serving the community for over ten years.

Kani and Ash Popat have been running Ash Newsagents, in Warners End, for 13 years and although they are looking forward their new chapter, they will miss the business they have nurtured over the years.

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The couple have expanded their newspaper delivery service and are now covering Felden, Apsley, Piccot’s End, Great Gaddesden, Little Gaddesden, Frithsden and Potten End, in addition to the local area - delivering to over 500 households daily.

Jack, Ash, Kani and JamesJack, Ash, Kani and James
Jack, Ash, Kani and James

In addition, Ash Newsagents have expanded their greeting cards, gifts and party lines, stocking a range of premium quality cards, helium balloons and other party lines such as birthday and party banners, badges and gifts for which the owners are really proud of.

Kani said: "It is like letting go of your baby. Also, we will be sad to say goodbye to our customers, a lot of whom we have come to know on a personal basis."

Ash added: "Although the shop is doing very well, we have to draw a line somewhere, and at the age of 62, I feel the time is right for us to call it a day to enjoy our life while we are in fairly good health.

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"Kani has worked ever since she came from Uganda at the age of 12 in one form or another, whilst I have been working continuously since the age of 15.

The couple have been serving the community for 13 yearsThe couple have been serving the community for 13 years
The couple have been serving the community for 13 years

“We would like to do some travelling if we can, maybe go on a few cruises and visit some of the wonders of the world."

The new shop owners, Mr Nalin Patel and his wife Reena, will take over on Monday, August 3.

The couple, who used to own Bovingdon News, are looking forward to taking the business over.

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Mr Patel said: “It will be business as usual. We will make sure that we continue to give the excellent service customers of Ash Newsagents are accustomed to.

New owners Reena and Nalin PatelNew owners Reena and Nalin Patel
New owners Reena and Nalin Patel

"It will be run exactly the same way as before, we will be taking advice from Ash and Kani, who are our personal friends, whenever we need it and with the two key staff Jack and James continuing to work for us, the shop should run more or less the way it did before.

"Our key delivery staff, Gary, Richard, Holly and Karl will continue driving the early hours of the morning no matter what the weather so that the customers get their newspapers early.

"We really are looking forward to our new venture."

Kani added: “I will miss a lot of my customers, some of them who I have come to know on a personal basis.

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"They have been really good to us and we extend our sincere thanks to them."

Ash said: "People have been very loyal to us; they will come only to our shop if they can get the item they want.

"We have customers who come from far afield because they like the range of cards we sell.

"We also have a customer who regularly comes from America, and every time he is here, he will come to us to buy a large quantity of chocolates to take back to America for his children and grandchildren.

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"This is despite Tesco Express being next door to us, who would normally have so many offers on chocolates."

The couple are looking forward to spending time with their family and they plan to go travelling.

Kani added: "We want to spend some quality time with our two daughters and son-in laws and enjoy our two grandchildren, with a third one due in late September."

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