Surinder Pugal (known as Steve to locals) and his wife Rama – one of the first Asian families to move into Pontefract and set up a successful business – have decided to retire after nearly 40 years of serving the local community through what was once a small store just a third of its present size.
They have issued a heartfelt and moving testimony to their time running the store – and a big thanks to their loyal customers
“It’s a decision that hasn’t been taken likely and one that has taken endless months of thinking,” say Steve and Rama. “However due to health and age, we have made the decision to finally retire and leave the business in a place where it’s as its best whilst we are still physically able to give it our best.
“This place hasn’t just been a business to us, but it’s been our everything. Our home, our getaway, our way of life. We’ve lived it, loved it, and certainly breathed it. Each one of life’s emotions over the past 40 years good and bad, we’ve experienced them all through the business and with you our customers by our side. From opening our doors for the very first time, bringing our babies home from the hospital for the first time, and watching them grow up over the years as we have done with many of you.
“We’ve given it our all the past 39 years but not as much as you our customers have given to us. It’s hard to say how much but when you put 39 years times by 365 days together, you get the idea of how big a role our customers have played in our life. The lows and many highs life has given us. You’ve been our bread and butter, our daily doses of sanity, laughter, and love. Without you we wouldn’t have got where we are today.
“Buying this business and relocating to Pontefract was taking a massive risk. Investing in a business that had previously not lifted off, who knew whether it would work or whether we’d be left stuck? But once again thanks to you and all that have graced our services, the risk paid off. To date we have tripled in size, re-branded three times, expanded into the many instore services we now offer and titled one of Pontefract’s First Successful Asian Business Owners. Each decade saw a new lease of life for the Business with a revamp and our children supporting the business alongside us.
“We will deeply miss the many daily faces and characters that we have become accustomed to and those who we’ve seen generation by generation. The daily interaction, the hype of opening up on Christmas Morning and most importantly the many stories you all share with us on a daily basis.
“After working 365 days for nearly 40 years, retirement will definitely be something to get to grips with but a new chapter we look forward to. Not having to get up super early to open up will be a massive change and something we will miss. But as a couple, we look forward now being able to invest some well overdue time with the Family, however still finding time to support the local charitable causes we affiliate ourselves with and carrying out voluntary work in other parts of the community.
“But don’t worry, we will still be on hand for a little while to support the new managers to have an easy and successful transition.”
Once again, thank you for giving us a lifetime of memories and giving us the honour to serve you for all these years.”
Steve, Rama, Rita, Karan and Alisha Pugal