An 80-year-old Surrey pet store owner made the sad decision to close her 34-year-old store after a fall that broke her ribs.
Maggies is an independent pet and gardening supplies store based in Stoneleigh, northeast of the Borough of Epsom and Ewell. But the owner, Maggie herself, fell in mid-June, breaking her hip and preventing her from continuing to work at the store.
Maggie, by her full name Margaret Eileen Kimberley, took over the store 34 years ago.
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The 84-year-old explained that her fall happened while working in the store.
She said: “We were packing up some stuff from a big shipment and I was dragging a bag of kitty litter. It was my fault, I put on shoes with rubber soles and those mats that dry your shoes… I moved aside and that was it, I was gone. “
She had another fall last year where she hit the counter – the surgeons attending to her for that most recent fall noticed additional cracked ribs that they thought were from it.
Maggie is sad to leave her shop when all of her money was in the business, but has been delighted by the outpouring of support from other businesses and residents.
The store is located at number 64 of The Broadway, an area centrally located in Stoneleigh, but much smaller than nearby downtown Epsom.
This little sense of community means that so many businesses and local residents have supported Maggie and the store.
She said: “[I’ve got] three big windowsills and they’re all filled with recovery cards! I get along with them all so well, we used to have a good laugh. “
One company that wanted to give Maggie a hand was Masons Bar, further up on Stoneleigh Broadway.
Owner Terri Mason has created a GoFundMe page to help raise money for Maggie in the future, in the absence of income from her pet store. At the time of writing, this fundraiser has raised over £ 1,000 from admirers of the store, with donations of over £ 100.
Terri says Maggie is normally the strongly independent type, describing her as a straightforward but generous character.
“She’s very old school, she doesn’t understand taking handouts. She’s a huge character, don’t mince words with anyone. Everyone knows Maggie, she’s always there for everyone. She’s probably the character. from Broadway! She’s going to chat with everyone who walks in, everyone has a conversation and a joke. “
And it wasn’t just the locals who loved the store – dogs that roamed the area were known to frequently drag their owners into the store. Maggie says she can’t wait to see the customers and their pets when she returns to the store next week for the final two days of trading to sell the remaining stock.
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In a recent social media update, Maggie’s son Shane Kimberley said they hope to reopen Maggies Pets for two days on Monday and Tuesday (August 9 and 10, details in the image above) to eliminate as much stock as possible.
He wrote: “We would like, once again, to thank all of your kind and generous customers and friends for donating to Maggie’s GoFundMe page, as she is unable to sell the business due to the terms of her lease and will have to walking (or even hobbling) away from what has been her life for the past 34 years. She loved every moment of it and you and your creatures will miss you so much. “
Maggie fully echoes this. She tells her clients, “Thank you for all the custom you’ve given me over the years!”
If you would like to contribute to fundraising, you can do so through his GoFundMe page
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