South Shields shop owner calls it a day after 32 years in business

Lynn Eagleton hands over keys to Jess Arreja for the new Carden Store.
Lynn Eagleton hands over keys to Jess Arreja for the new Carden Store.
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A popular shopowner who put the community at the heart of her business has called it a day – after 32 years running the family-based convenience store.

Lynn Eagleton, has been reluctantly forced to sell the business – Eagletons in Carden Avenue, South Shields – due to ill-health.

We have had some bad times, but we have also had some great times and the customers we have had over the years have been so supportive. We have been really lucky.

Lynn Eagleton

For years Lynn and her sister Joanne were well-known in the area for the community work they carried out and the extra mile they went for customers.

As well as the good times, the sisters have also had to deal with two armed robberies – in 1998 against a man with a gun and in 2008 when a man carrying a knife demanded cash from the store.

Miss Eagleton said: “It is sad and quite upsetting due to ill-health, I’ve been forced to sell up. I’ve been here 32 years and it was my life.

“We’ve had some bad times, but we also had some great times and the customers over the years have been so supportive – we have been really lucky.

“I had hoped to keep the shop for another 18 years with plans to retire when we had hit 50 years but life had other plans for me.

“I do miss it and I do miss the customers, but I have to concentrate on getting better.

“It has always been a family-run businesses and that’s why I wasn’t ready to sell it on to just anyone. It’s not just about the money, it’s about the people and the community also.

“The shop has been sold on to a lovely family who are also local and who have a lot of experience.

“They came in and worked alongside us for three months to make sure they liked it and they fitted in straight away. They really are a great family and I couldn’t have handed the keys over to anyone better.”

During her time at the shop, Lynn has worked alongside the police on a number of projects to tackle underage drinking and was also chairman of Offwatch – set up to support off-licences in the area.

The shop, now named Carden Avenue Convenience Store, has been handed over to Jess Arreja and her husband Gurpreet. Lynn’s sister Joanne continues to work in the shop part-time.

Jess said: “We already had the shop at the top of the road and we were approached to see if we would like to buy it.

“We were really lucky as the sale went through smoothly and Lynn still comes in to see us when she can.

“We have made a few small changes to the shop, we have changed the name, but the staff are the same.

“We will also be looking to promote the services we provide through the post office more with the use of social media.”

The shop is open 8am- 9pm Monday to Sunday. The post office is open 8am - 8pm Monday to Saturday.