11:15 Tuesday 05 November 2013

Fred and Viv Brown to retire after more than three decades in business

Written byJORDAN DAY

Viv and Fred Brown are closing their shop Astarte Brides in Littleport at the end of the year when they will retire. Viv and Fred Brown are closing their shop Astarte Brides in Littleport at the end of the year when they will retire.

A couple who have been in business for more than 35 years have finally decided to retire.

Councillor Fred Brown and his wife Viv have run businesses in Littleport ever since they took on the Black Horse Public House in 1977.

They subsequently bought Clarkes Menswear from Don And Enid Jefferson in the 1980s. They moved the business and opened Astarte Brides in Main Street 13 years ago, where it has been ever since.

Fred said: “We are both well in our retirement years now and feel that this is the right time to call it a day. Business has not been easy in the last few years - the village itself has become very quiet.

“We had been hoping to move to Ely to help develop the business, however although we have had much interest in the premises in Main Street, which has been up for sale for two years, the prospective buyers have been unable to find mortgages, which has led us to decide to give up on that dream.

“We had to decide now because it was time for us to arrange all the buying of the new collections for next summer and autumn.”

The couple expect to close Astarte Brides around Christmas or the New Year and all wedding, bridesmaid, prom and evening dress stock is now being sold at half price.

Viv said: “We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our customers, old and new, for all their support over the years.

“We have had a wonderful time and the years have flown and we are sorry to be calling it a day, but all good things must come to an end at some point.”

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