Meopham brothers celebrate 50 years running family store

News Shopper: Alan Hargrave Alan Hargrave

Two brothers are celebrating the 50th anniversary of their family business after nearly being snuffed by retail giant Tesco last year.

Colin and Alan Hargrave run the Spar store in The Parade, Meopham and say staying true to local products and offering a personal service have been the secrets to their success.

They held a family funday on Saturday (MAY 3) to mark their success and commitment to the village community.

Colin, 60, of Chesnut Lane, Vigo told News Shopper: "My brother and I took over the running of the shop in the 1970s.

"Our parents Bill and Blanche, who are now both 87, opened the shop in 1964. Mum took a backseat after about ten years and dad retired ten years ago.

"We offer something different to the community and I really feel that is why we are still here.

"We offer customers the lottery and we know everyone by name, it's a community.

"We get involved and are proud of beating such a huge company."

Mr Hargrave explained the family thought Tesco opening in the same parade of shops last year would be the "death knell" for the family business.

He added: "We have lost trade but we offer things that Tesco don't and that sets us apart. We have the only fresh meat counter in the village and we supply locally sourced products.

"We sell fresh bread from the granary in New Ash Green which our customers love.

"The funday is a way of saying thank you to the community for supporting us.

"We had a children's entertainer, face painting, a cooking and tasting sessions for everyone to take part in."

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