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Sorrow as city estate greengrocer to shut after 65 years.

Byline: bronte howard Reporter

ONE of Ely's longest-running independent shops is closing its doors for good after nearly 70 years.

The Glendale, in Wilson Road, Cardiff, has been selling fruit, veg and flowers for more than six decades.

The store was first opened in the 1950s by Vincent Poole before being passed down 10 years ago to nephew Marcus Capel, who owned six Glendale stores across south Wales at one point.

Then 18 months ago the baton was handed to current owner Sarah Edmunds, who has worked at The Glendale for 18 years, having originally started out as a florist.

But despite doing everything to try to survive competition from internet shopping and high street competitors, Sarah is being forced to close the greengrocers at the end of the month.

The mother of three said: "It's such a shame, I'm absolutely gutted but we just can't compete with big supermarkets any more. The prices they charge is just something we can't compete with.

"But it's nothing new, independent shops have been closing for a while.

"I first started working at Glendale 18 years ago as a florist, that's what I spent most of my career doing.

"It had only been six weeks since I gave birth to my daughter but the opportunity came up and I just knew I had to take it or I'd lose the offer, and I've been here ever since.

"I've seen so much change, but some things remain the same and I really will miss it."

The Glendale isn't just any old greengrocers - it's at the heart of the community and is a place where residents go for a chat.

During the daytime many of the takeaway shops in Wilson Road are closed but that doesn't stop the street being a social hub.

Like the butcher shop next door, which has been open for 25 years, The Glendale's doors have always been open.

Sandra Biggs is a regular customer and often visits with her family - four generations of relatives who have always known the greengrocers and its staff.

Mrs Biggs, 74, said: "It's a real shame, a real shame. I moved to Ely when I was four and I think it might have been here then. It's definitely one of the longest-running shops around here.

"I used to come with my mother when I was little and now I still come in a few times a week. Today I'm with my daughter, granddaughter and her son.

"It's part of the community, it's a friendly place where you can have a chat and everybody knows Sarah.

"It's cheaper than supermarkets as well, you don't have to buy big packs, and it's closer, we only live over the road.

"It really will be missed." Louise Brewer, who works at the family-run Williams Butcher next door, said the increase in big supermarkets like Aldi and Lidl have also had an impact on its sales.

"I've known Sarah for years and she's tried really hard, but unfortunately there's nothing you can do," said Louise, whose father, Terry Williams, owns the business.

"We've been hit massively but luckily we've been OK because we were able to start selling cooked meals, whereas it's different for Sarah.

"We will really miss having the shop next door. It has character and it's been there forever."

When The Glendale closes on May 31 it will re-open as a Polish convenience store, having been bought by another family.

Sarah, who is going on to work in finance at a local authority, said: "We've tried to adapt and move with the times, which is something every business owner does.

"A few years ago I set up a website for the florist side of the business because I knew that's where business was going, but most people just aren't shopping local any more.

"We do drop-offs for some elderly customers for free and we supply fruit and veg to two local schools, Windsor Clive School and Hywel Dda School.

"Things started to decline about 10 years ago, when Lidl first opened, but we were still making money.

"When I first started there were probably around 15 staff, and then when I took over 18 months ago I think we had five.

"But when we started to make less money I had to cut staff and let people go. Now it's just me.

"The one thing I won't miss is having to get up at 4.30am.

"It's a shame because people don't realise that if you don't use it, you lose it, until it's actually gone."


Glendale is closing at the end of the month after 65 years

Sarah Edmunds, owner of the Glendale fruit and veg shop in Wilson Road, Ely CardiffRICHARD WILLIAMS
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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:May 23, 2019
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