After nearly 40 years, 85-year-old Mary Carter is closing her shop in Langley City. She relocated from Richmond about two years ago to reduce her commuting time from Brookswood. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

Mary’s British Home store closes in Langley City

Owner says store has been struggling since it relocated from Richmond

Asked if she was disappointed to be closing up her Langley City shop, Mary Carter frowned, and hesitated.

“I don’t know if that’s strong enough” she told a Langley Advance Times reporter.

Her choice of words “isn’t printable,” Carter explained.

In the windows of Mary’s British Home store at 20435 Fraser Highway, where the one-way begins, notices advertising a going-out-of-business sale have gone up next to the Union Jack flags.

“Everything must go!! By the end of the month,” one reads.

For nearly 40 years, the 85-year-old Brookswood resident has been selling authentic British food, locally-made fresh pies and a variety of dry and canned goods, sweets and crisps from England out of her store.

Up until about two years ago, the store was located in Richmond’s Steveston neighbourhood, but Carter grew weary of the commute and decided to switch to a location closer to home.

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It didn’t work out the way she hoped.

Carter described her two years striving to make a go of it in Langley City as “unfortunate.”

“This has been hopeless,” she fumed.

Her new premises were considerably bigger and more expensive, and while loyal clients made the trek to her new Langley City premises, it was still a struggle.

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“A lot of my customers followed, then the economy went sideways,” Carter related.

New owners bought the building where she leased space, which meant new landlords, and the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

Carter said her business was already in trouble before the coronavirus forced a temporary shut down of her shop.

“I’ve lost enough money,” Carter commented.

“This is it.”

She said she was sorry to give up her store, mostly because of the clients.

“I had a wonderful time and I had wonderful customers, be sure to mention that,” she instructed.

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