Eighty-year-old business Appleby’s bakery, based in Salisbury, will close this month so that owner Mark Appleby can have some time off “while I’m still young enough to enjoy it”.

“They have been really nice people to meet every day and it has been a privilege to serve them,” said owner Mark Appleby of his customers. He went on to say that it had been a “difficult decision” to close the shop, but that he wanted to enjoy some time off.

He admitted that he had “hardly ever taken a holiday”, despite turning 60 this year, but that he had mixed feelings about it. “We have been here so long. I have been brought up here. My whole life has been bound up with this business.

“It has been a really difficult decision and not one I have taken lightly. We have had some customers coming in for 50 years and new customers coming from all the office blocks of businesses. They have been so understanding about us closing and have been wishing us well.”

Family business

Appleby’s grandfather, Sidney, took over the bakery business from its previous owner in 1932. Three generations of the family have been involved since then, and Mark Appleby himself has worked there for about 45 years – the bakery still uses the same ovens that were installed in the shop in the 1920s.

Of his time as a baker Appleby said: “I started helping out as I kid and enjoyed doing it. There was never any pressure to do it and I carried on.”

He added: “Our shop is kind of like a pub – everyone knows each other and there is a bit of banter. I will miss the interaction with customers. We are shutting on our terms, and I would just like to thank everyone – the customers, staff, friends and family.”