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End of an era: Bon Bon bids a sweet farewell to regulars

Gillian Kent owner of Bon Bon newsagents on Denby Dale Road in Wakefield.
Gillian Kent owner of Bon Bon newsagents on Denby Dale Road in Wakefield.

A shopkeeper has thanked customers for their support as her store closes after more than 60 years in business.

Bon Bon Newsagents on Denby Dale Road, better known as the sweet shop, will close today -Friday, September 28.

Gillian Kent, 74, who has owned the shop for 25 years, is sad to let the shop go.

She said: “I’ve enjoyed every minute of being at the shop, I’ve loved it.

“I’m really sad to be going, I just want to have some years to enjoy with my grandchildren.

“I’m sad that the shop won’t be staying open, but time goes on and there is a time when you’ve got to call it a day. I’ve made the right decision to go.”

Mrs Kent has run the shop since she bought it in 1993.

She said: “I worked in a factory and it was closing down. I was walking past and it was up for sale and I saw the assistant reading a paper and eating an ice cream and I thought ‘I want that job.’”

The shop, which is located next to Thornes Park, was known for its variety of impressive and tasty ice cream.

In its heyday, families would queue into the street for the chance to get a taste of the store’s latest flavours.

Regulars referred to the store as ‘The Sweet Shop’ and would often bring their children to spend their pocket money.

“I’ll miss the customers, the friendly chatter. They’re all lovely people. There used to be queues out the door on bank holidays,” Mrs Kent said.

“They really helped me to build the business, to keep it going all this time. Without their support, the business would have gone down a long time ago.”

In more recent years, the store has certainly seen its fair share of action, having survived three armed robberies since Gillian took it over. But Mrs Kent says that nothing could have damaged her enthusiasm for the newsagents.

She said: “I love my job the shop and serving ice cream and it didn’t deter me, I wasn’t going to let people scare me off,” she said. It’s the end of an era, it has been going for a very long time.

The newsagents will be transformed into a sandwich shop, to open later this year.

60 years of love for ‘sweet shop’
Although she isn’t sure exactly when it opened, Mrs Kent says that Bon Bon Newsagents has been in place for more than 60 years.

She said: “I bought the shop from a Mr Lumb in 1993. It used to be really busy, the shop would be packed out every day.

“I think the customers are devastated because there isn’t another newsagent in the area.

“People will miss the newspapers and ice cream, school children used to come in on their way to school.

“There’s been a lot of change but I’m going to miss it.”