End of an era as Ripon business calls it a day after nearly 40 years
A much-loved Ripon business has called it a day after nearly four decades of serving the city, with dozens of residents hailing it the end of an era.
Davill’s bakery’s delicious treats and its cheerful owners Ken and Shirley have been a fabric of the city for more than 37 years, but as retirement calls, the business has bid an emotional farewell to its beloved Ripon.
With such a long history comes a rich tapestry of stories and anecdotes to treasure forever - from making Easter eggs for the Queen to commemorate her royal visit to Ripon in 1985, to travelling the world to grow their expertise even more, Ken and Shirley Davill have done it all.
The hard-working husband and wife duo have even calculated just how many handmade bread cakes Davill’s has produced over the last 37 and a half years - around five million, on the basis of making an average of 2,000 a week.
The business has seen a lot of changes over the years - including the opening and closure of the long-standing shop on Westgate and their shop in Harrogate, but despite the decline of small bakeries, Davill’s has always been passionate about adapting and moving with the times to meet customer needs.
Over the last 10 years-plus, Shirley and Ken have focused on market stall trade and local produce shows - quickly becoming a hugely popular fixture and friendly face of Ripon Market, as well as the many other trading events they attended.
Ken said: “We would like to say a big thank you to the Ripon community and our loyal customers for supporting us all these years. We’ve been brought to tears with the kind words, presents and flowers from our customers both past and present. “And a thank you to our staff and friends - without them this wouldn’t have been possible.
“It’s a strange feeling to be retiring, with a mixture of emotions – sadness that its coming to an end, but excited that we are finished and can start our new chapter.
“We have always prided ourselves on quality, continuity, value for money and excellent customer service.”
As well as marking nearly 40 years in the family business together, the Davills are also celebrating 40 years of marriage as they enter retirement.
Shirley said: “After 37 and a half years we decided to retire while we were fit enough to enjoy our retirement together after 40 years of marriage, with lots of exciting plans and trips ahead of us.
“We will miss the smell of fresh bread, and meeting and seeing different people every day. It’s been an honour to continue to bake bread in a traditional way in the historical city of Ripon.”