A SHOPKEEPER celebrating 30 years of trading in Bradford on Avon says customer loyalty is the secret of her success.

Karen Bloomfield started working at the florist in The Shambles at the age of 17 before taking over the business and renaming it Bloomfield’s Fruit and Veg when she was 23.

Mrs Bloomfield, 47, said reaching the 30-year milestone would not have been possible without the support of local residents.

“I never thought I would reach 30 years when I first started working, I guess nobody does,” she said.

“It was initially just a stopgap job when I was 17 but I found I really enjoyed it. I took over the reins of the business six years later and the rest is history.

“It’s no secret that town centres are dying and supermarkets are winning but my loyal customers have kept me going, and I have to say a huge thank you to them as I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for them. I plan to keep going for as long as people support me.”

Mrs Bloomfield said her customers appreciate the fact that she buys a lot of locally sourced produce and like her Yum Yum signs, which she places next to her personal recommendations.

Loyal customer Peter Hood, who has lived in the town for 40 years, said: “To reach 30 years is quite an achievement in this day and age and we would like to congratulate Karen.

“She represents what is good about the town to us and we really appreciate her service – she knows everyone’s name and really cares about her customers.”