Warwick shop owner set to retire after serving the community he loves for more than 30 years
He continued to open the shop throughout the lockdowns
A shop owner in Warwick is getting ready to retire after serving the community he loves for more than 30 years.
Kulwant Sandha owns and runs Castle Newsagents, in St Johns, and has run the shop for more than three decades years. He turned 70 in May and is now set to retire around the end of June.
Kulwant's family said: "He celebrated his 70th birthday on May 8 – it wasn’t quite the big celebration his children had planned for him but he got to spend time with his children and grandchildren which is what matters most to him.
As well as retiring Kulwant has also sold his business.
Kulwant's family added: "A younger couple are taking over the shop and have plans to renovate – it was really important to Kulwant that he found the right owners for the shop as he wanted to make sure that his customers, who he has grown so fond of over the years, are taken care of and are in good hands when he retires."
Speaking about Kulwant and his job, his family said: "Over the years, Kulwant has made long lasting relationships with so many of his customers and has thoroughly enjoyed being part of the local community in Warwick.
"His wife sadly passed away in 2012 but waking up every morning to go to the shop to be greeted by his loyal customers really helped him through this incredibly difficult time in his life.
"He is lovingly known as Sam by his customers and there isn’t a day that goes by without them coming into the shop to pick up a newspaper and have a little chat with him.
"Even at the age of 70, Kulwant is still the first one at of the house in mornings and the last one to come back from work in the evenings - not even his sons’ weddings have stopped him from opening the shop at 5am to make sure his customers get their morning paper."
Despite the pandemic Kulwant continued to serve his customers.
His family said: "Kulwant loves the community spirit around special events in Warwick and has missed this over the last year. The castle to castle run, Victorian evening and other parades run right in front of the shop.
"At the start of the first lockdown, Kulwant’s children were all really worried about their dad going to the shop and being in contact with the public on a daily basis.
"At that time he was in his late sixties and classed as vulnerable himself – but he was adamant that he had to still open the shop and be there for his customers, as he knew that for some of his elderly customers going to the shop and having a chat with him was their only chance to get out and talk to another person.
"He knew that were people still going into work who needed their morning paper and didn’t want to let anyone down.
"Although the shop was considerably quieter during the pandemic, he’s very grateful that he was still able to work and be there for his community – especially for the elderly and vulnerable to help them get their essentials during what was a very frightening time for all."
They added: "Kulwant’s children are all incredibly proud of their dad – since their mum passed away he has worked single handily at the shop to provide for them and it is running joke in their house that their dad’s only real day off is Christmas day.
"He’s worked so hard for all of his life and they’re now looking forward to him getting some well-deserved rest during his retirement although he’s already questioning how he is going to fill his time.
"He will really miss his customers and the conversations he has with them all but thanks everyone for their custom over the years and hopes to bump into some of them while he goes for his daily walks in retirement."