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St Albans greengrocer, E S Hulse & Son Ltd, celebrates 50 years
A family has toasted to 50 years in business at a greengrocers in St Albans.
Former staff, customers and St Albans mayor, Annie Brewster, gathered at E S Hulse & Son Ltd, which opened its doors in October 1963 to enjoy champagne and cake to mark the golden milestone.
The Cell Barnes Lane greengrocers was opened by, Eddie and Pam Hulse, as their first business after running fruit and vegetable market stalls previously.
London born Eddie died two and a half years ago and Redbourn resident Pam is still a regular face in the shop.
The business is now run by the couple’s son and his wife Laurence and Beverly Hulse, while Jackie Webb is the manageress.
Working as a Saturday girl 40 years ago, Jackie never looked back.
Laurence Hulse said: "It was fantastic to celebrate 50 years. It was a lovely day.
"A lot of old members of staff, customers and Saturday girls came to celebrate with us. It was great to see the faces of people, who have been coming back to us for 40 to 50 years.
"My mum was really proud to be there too and she had a great day." When asked how the business has changed over the years, Mr Hulse, said: "Years ago a woman came in to the shop with a £5 note to do her shopping.
"She could have brought everything in the shop, but my dad didn’t have the change to give back to her because a £5 was such a lot back then he had to tell her to come back tomorrow.
"She carried on coming back for the next 30 years, which is a lovely story."
Mr Hulse also explained the variety of fruit and vegetables the shop sells has expanded.
He said: "We would have just sold your normal root veg including carrots and cabbage. Now we are selling broccoli, peppers, aubergines and courgettes.
"There is now a massive variety of fruit and vegetables, where you can pick from all sorts of potatoes and tomatoes, whereas back then you would only have one choice."
When asked what has kept the business going for 50 years, Mr Hulse added: "I think it’s our members of staff and our reliability.
"People know us and know what to expect, which I think they like. They come in and have a chat. It has a community feel about it.
"Here’s to another 10 years and reaching 60."
Mrs Hulse added she thought it was important for the business to be part of the local community.
The shop recently organised an Easter egg competition with local children, currently sponsor an U12 team for St Albans City Football Club and recently donated fruit and vegetables to Rennie Grove House.
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