THE owner of a well-known fruit and vegetable shop in Bradford on Avon which temporarily closed because of the Covid-19 coronavirus crisis has decided to call it quits after 33 years.

Karen Bloomfield, of Bloomfield’s Fruit & Veg, has decided to close her shop in The Shambles and to sell the business as a going concern.

She said she had “mixed feelings” about giving up the business, which has always made a profit.

"I have only three years left on the lease of the shop. I just felt that now was the right time to move on and do something else."

Miss Bloomfield, 50, who lives in Trowbridge, added: “I have spent the past eight weeks looking after my mother Yvonne and have decided that it’s time I had some ‘me time’.

“I started working in the shop when I was 17 and I have been there 33 years, running the shop myself for the past 26 years and working six days a week.

“I haven’t had a holiday for 15 years and my father Norman died two and a half years ago.

“My mother is 76 now and I have just turned 50. I have decided that it’s time to do something else and find some hobbies."

Miss Bloomfield posted a message on her shop window last week saying: “I’m very sad to have to write this.

“I won’t be coming back. I’ve decided the time is right to sell the shop and enjoy a bit of me time.

“I would like to thank you for your support over the 33 years. Without you I couldn’t have done it. Love to you all, Karen.”

Because of the coronavirus, she had to let go two part-time staff and a Saturday-only shop assistant.

Miss Bloomfield said: "The business is booming. I have never made a loss and in the last three years the profits have been the best they have ever been."

She now plans to take a year off and decide what she wants to do in the future, adding “the world is my oyster”.

Miss Bloomfield said she had spent the past eight weeks just "chilling out, relaxing and cooking" - things she had never been able to do before.

"My life was just work, sleep and eat. I used to work six days a week and my only day off was on Sundays.

"I'd like to say a massive thank you to my many customers. Without them, I would not have survived.

"It's time for somebody else to take my baby a little bit further."

One of her loyal customers, who did not wish to be named, said: “Sad news to hear that Karen appears to have decided not to return to her fruit/veg stall.

“After 33 years a character like that will be missed. She will be a hard act to follow.”