After nearly two decades of serving the local community, Peter and Ruth Kay are looking forward to a change.

Peter and Ruth Kay have been running the popular The Top Shop on Belmont Road for 18 years and have decided it is time for a change and have put the store up for sale.

The traditional village store stocks everything from hot pasties, homemade cakes, homemade soup and fresh fruit and veg to a wide array of sweets, as well as all manner of miscellaneous items.

Peter, aged 65, says they are looking for a change and spending time his grandchildren  - he has four grandchildren and a fifth on the way. 

He said: "We bought it 18 years ago, me and my wife, Ruth. 

The Bolton News: Peter and Kelsey Carroll, a worker at the shopPeter and Kelsey Carroll, a worker at the shop (Image: Newsquest)

"My daughter, who lives in Bristol, she has just found out she is pregnant, we already have four grandchildren so that will be the fifth. 

"We are going to have our hands full." 

He added: "We have made a lot of friends, everyone knows us, we're well-known. Even though the shop has not sold yet, I would like to thank all of our customers for their valued trade. 

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The Bolton News: Counter in the store, complete with homemade cakes, and the ingredients for sandwichesCounter in the store, complete with homemade cakes, and the ingredients for sandwiches (Image: Newsquest)

"I'll still be living in the area, so I won't miss anyone, at least when I see them. 

"I will miss meeting the customers. The customers and just serving the community as best we can. 

"If somebody comes in for something and we don't have it, I will try and make sure it is in next time." 

Peter's family has a long lineage of being shopkeepers - his grandfather worked on market stalls as a fishmonger from as early as the 1930s, and Peter's father also worked in the industry. 

He added: "We used to stock the newspapers but as online came in less people bought them - we now offer different services, like online parcels. 

"There are changes all the time, it is a seasonal shop. We do black peas on Bonfire Night, at Christmas we do wreaths, in summertime we have plants. 

The Bolton News: Outside the shopOutside the shop (Image: Newsquest)

"We serve free range eggs from Cheshire, homemade cakes. It is a small shop but we pack everything in and try to have as much variety as possible. 

"Someone once criticised us on Facebook saying there's no space - you can't sell an empty space!" 

Peter added: "It is quite a big building actually, there are three bedrooms upstairs, when we first took over there was planning permission to turn the school into a bachelor pad. 

"I wanted to turn it into an ice cream parlour but just never got the time. 

The Bolton News: The old schoolhouse which Peter wanted to turn into an ice cream parlourThe old schoolhouse which Peter wanted to turn into an ice cream parlour (Image: Newsquest)

"This has been a shop for 80-90 years. I used to shop in here when I was a child, over 50 years ago. It was only half the size. 

"It is always changing, hopefully for the better. It's the little shop with a big heart!" 

Customer Jen Lloyd said: "It's just a nice, convenient little shop with everything you could wish for. 

"I'm sick of supermarkets and everything, serving yourself and nobody talks to you."