Published: 10:02, 13 August 2020
| Updated: 10:05, 13 August 2020
A couple who have sold their Romney Marsh business after nearly 30 years are now planning to tour the country in a motorhome.
Sunil - known as Neil to his customers - and Stella Patel have run Beachside Stores in Jefferstone Lane, St Mary’s Bay since 1991.
They packed up their 'hectic' life in London to move to the coast for a quiet family life, where they raised their three daughters Anisha, Farah and Tierney and ran the shop.
But the couple put the seaside convenience store on the market 18 months ago after deciding to retire.
Mr Patel said: "The first thing we want to do is have a family holiday. We've only had one in the last 30 years.
"Hopefully we can hire a cottage in Cornwall or Devon.
"Our plan is also to get a motorhome and tour the county, to make up for all the years."
Mr Patel says he will miss his customers the most.
He said: "It's like a big family to us.
"They come in everyday, and we know everyone by name and have made lots of friends.
"Our paper boys from 30 years ago still pop in with their families to say hello."
The couple will not miss the 5.30am starts and long working days however.
Their home was turned upside down after thieves shattered the patio door to gain access.
Mr and Mrs Patel are now planning on staying in Littlestone to enjoy their retirement.
It is understood a husband and wife team are taking the business on and plan to refurbish it.
The Patels' last day in the shop will be this Sunday, when they plan to have farewell drinks with customers before handing over the keys to the new owners.
Mr Patel added: "We would like to say thank you to all our customers for shopping with us over the years and making us part of the community."