The new owner of long-established Lisburn supermarket Greens Food Fare says “traditional values” will remain at the heart of the business.
Businessman Kenny Bradley has dismissed suggestions that his arrival could signal job losses at the Bow Street grocery outlet, insisting that he actually plans to take on additional staff.
Commenting on suggestions that his move to purchase the business could lead to sweeping changes at the store, he said: “We are not looking to make any redundancies. In fact, Greens Food Fare wants to employ more people in the area and we will be actively recruiting immediately.”
Mr Bradley, whose business portfolio includes Home Delivery Wine and a number of convenience store outlets, added: “I believe that in a world of global giants and big-name brands, there’s still a place for the friendly, more personal touch that Greens offers.
“Greens has always been about traditional values, friendly, helpful staff, and an emphasis on customer care. I share that business philosophy and fully intend not only continuing with the same principles that attracted such a loyal customer base in Lisburn and the surrounding area, but adding to what’s on offer to the customer.”
First established in 1923 as J.T. Green & Sons, the Bow Street store has now changed hands for the first time in almost half a century. It was the late Griffith Horace Black - the father of outgoing Managing Director Rowan Black - who was the initial driving force behind the business and Greens’ early expansion, including the purchase of neighbouring Bow Street properties Alexander Boyd & Co and Jack Cummins’ butcher shop.
It may be the end of an era, but the Black family believe the future of Greens is in safe hands.
“I have personally been in the business for 35 years, and my family for almost half a century,” said Rowan Black. “Greens has been very much a part of the local community during that time and our family appreciates the support we have received throughout the years, not least from our many staff members, some of whom were with Greens for upwards of three decades.
“I know Kenny is conscious of the role our staff played in shaping Greens, and I am delighted he values and is supportive of the current workforce.”
It may be a bittersweet time for the Black family as it closes the door on a 47-year association with Greens, but there is a genuine respect between the old owner and new.
“I trust the community is now going to lend its support to Kenny and we wish him well taking the business on. He knows the business, has the character traits to make this a success, and I know the respect he will gain taking over at the helm of Greens will help going forward. I wish Kenny every success.”
Greens’ rich heritage and unique place in the affections of the local community is not lost on its new owner.
“I’m immensely proud to be taking over Greens Food Fare and thank the Black family for their support. I am only too aware of Greens’ long history, and the place it holds in the hearts of local people. My aim is to write a new chapter in the Greens story, and to ensure the business continues to go from strength-to-strength,” Mr Bradley added.
Wishing Mr Bradley well in his new venture, a spokesperson for Lisburn Chamber of Commerce said: “Lisburn Chamber of Commerce wishes to pass on best wishes to Mr Bradley, the new owner of Greens Food Fare in Lisburn. Greens is a Lisburn ‘institution’ with a very loyal customer base and we look forward to the new owner driving the business forward with the same focus on friendly customer service and traditional values.”
Local SDLP MLA Pat Catney added: “I sincerely hope Mr Black will have an enjoyable retirement, and to Kenny and his family I wish every success in the future. As a former businessman, I am only too aware how difficult it is and how volatile things can be. However, change does happen and I hope this provides a catalyst for Greens to move forward and continue having a positive impact on the retail sector in Lisburn.
“I know the people of Lisburn will continue to offer their support. I’m a daily customer myself, with a particular weakness for one of Greens’ products. Let’s just say I ‘bring home the bacon’ and leave it at that. I look forward to passing on my best wishes to Kenny in person.”