A shopkeeper who has been the backbone of a retail premises for over 36 years has decided to retire.

Ramesh ‘Ron’ Samani was a postman in Northampton when his cousin Nick, who ran Woodland Stores in Wyesham, showed him the then-empty shop on the Kings Fee estate when Ron was down visiting,

The shop had gone into liquidation and was empty apart from shelving. So when it came on the market in September 1987, Ron bought it and after a month of working on the inside was ready to open as a Spar shop on the 16th September that year.

The shop has become the hub in the area for the community with its post office and wide variety of grocieries, opening at 6am and closing at 8pm, seven days a week but Ron is looking to slow down a little bit as he suffers from a bad knee which makes standing up all day very difficult.

But he is not the only face associated with the Spar shop.

Ryan Jones began working as a paperboy for Ron when he was 14, although it was Ryan’s dad that would deliver the papers after finishing his night shift at Tillotsons (now Triwall).

“Ryan and I have never fallen out over anything,” said Ron. He and the other members of staff, Jenna, Dominic and Alex, have always been able to put their own ideas in the shop into practice “and I have always let them do it” he added.

The shop was extended in 2014 and gave them the chance to offer more goods and make the aisles wider.

“The aisles were so narrow, mothers used to have to leave their pushchairs outside and rush in to do their shop” remembers Ron. “But now we can accommodate pushchairs as well as wheelchairs and scooters.”

When asked what he would miss the most, Ron replied “everything.

“I’m going to miss the people as without them I wouldn’t have been so successful, the people of Monmouthshire have supported me so well.

He plans to go away for a few weeks, his son lives in Dubai so he might go there for five days and then decide what to do.

He has sold the shop as a going concern to a Mr Kethees Vythilingam who will be keeping the staff on, as Ron insisted, to ensure a smooth transition.