The owners of a Scottish pet store have decided to sell up and move on – after 36 years in the business.
Barry and Kathleen Owen have become well-known faces in the town of Helensburgh, Argyll over the years having run their pet shop since 1983.
Having opened the store a year after they got married, the couple are now moving on to pastures new with an altogether different business venture lined up, the Hellenburgh Advertiser reports.
Having become more than just the town’s only specialist shop for pet supplies, offering knowledgeable advice about all things animal related as well as a friendly face for residents’ furry, feathered and fishy family, Kathleen, 56, said the move was tinged with sadness, but was ‘the right thing to do’.
“We just felt it was time for someone younger to take on the role,” she told the Advertiser, “so, our manageress, Lesley, who has worked in the shop for around 20 years, will be taking over with her son, Alan.
“We’ve got a new venture. We’ve bought some holiday cottages near Loch Lomond and this will allow us to enjoy our time doing things that we love, like cycling and travelling…
“We’re not quite retired yet but we felt the time was right for change.”
The couple are proud of the impact that their independent store has made in Helensburgh and are confident that it will be in good hands.
“We’ve had so many young people come in and work with us over the years, people at 14 and 15 who lack confidence, and it’s been so good for them and us to work with them,” said Kathleen.
“Working in a shop gives them the confidence and skills they need to go on to find jobs or go to university, and my husband has even had letters from people years later thanking him for helping them.”
Barry added: “It’s a long time, so there is a bit of sadness, but it’s time for change.
“We are incredibly grateful for all the support over the years and we want to thank all our loyal customers who have been a pleasure to serve and many of whom have become close friends.