190-year-old hardware store put up for sale in south Norfolk
- Credit: Archant
A hardware store established almost 200 years ago has been put up for sale for only the fourth time in its long and illustrious history.
Larter and Ford, based on Market Hill in Diss, is available to interested buyers at a guide price of £125,000.
The business, which also specialises in cookware and is considered by many to be a Diss institution, was founded way back in 1832 as Aldridge Bros.
It was gutted by a devastating fire in 1938, before being sold to Messrs Larter and Ford and reopening in 1940.
In 1961, John and Julie Maskell took on the firm and remained in charge for more than five decades until 2013.
They passed on the reins to Carl Edwards, who is set to retire after eight years at the helm.
Mr Edwards said he took pride in the company's heritage and, in particular, its emphasis on high-quality customer service.
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“I’m proud to have been one of only a handful of custodians of this business, and that it continues to thrive after almost 200 years," he added.
"That’s because our customers come first. We know what our customers want when they come into the shop, and more often than not we have it in stock.
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"That’s been particularly important since we reopened after the national lockdown. We’re seeing the return of ‘keep it local’ shopping.
"We are so grateful to all our customers, old and new, whom we have helped - and who have helped us."
Larter and Ford continues to be renowned for being able to supply almost anything to anyone.
Over the past 10 years it has evolved even further to offer a specialist dry cleaners, The Linen Press, making it the only shop in Diss with such a service.
The business is being offered for sale by Chapman Chartered Surveyors, whose director, Oliver Chapman, sold it to Mr Edwards in 2013.
"I was very pleased to be asked by Carl to find a buyer for the business. He has run it well and delivered consistent results year-on-year.
"I’m confident we will find the right buyer and that the name Larter and Ford will live on."