ONE of the longest standing businesses in Leigh has been put on the market as the owner prepares to retire after 43-years running the shop.

Richard Green, owner of Greens Health Foods, is looking for someone to carry on the torch and is confident of a smooth transition once a new owner is found.

The business, on Rectory Grove, was originally established in 1963 before being taken over by Richard in 1981.

Now Greens Health Foods, believed to be one of the “longest established businesses of any kind in Leigh” is being listed by estate agent Dedman Gray for £250,000.

Richard, 60, hopes to find a future owner who will be able to keep the shop fiercely independent and community minded.

Echo: Owner - Richard Green outside GreensOwner - Richard Green outside Greens (Image: Richard Green)

He said: “I’ve been here since I was a nipper, officially for 43 years and there has been a lot of changes, we have evolved massively over the years.

“We started life as one of three businesses with a beer and wine shop but as times changed, we developed into a health food store and have gone from strength to strength.

“I am happy to stay here but I think we need brighter, younger minds who could takes Greens to the next level, we don’t have an online presence for instance, we pride ourselves on our customer service and working directly with the people.

Richard added that the business is not immediately closing and will initially continue life under the Greens name, though he would expect “new owners to put their stamp on it”.

“We need to be looking at the next 15 to 20 years, if I was looking for a dream person to take it over, it would be somebody who has lived and worked in Leigh and who knows a bit about the community and about us, that would be the dream,” he said.

“I would also want them to remain independent and keep that ethos rather than be sold into a bigger chain, Leigh is staunchly independent, and we are lucky with the support of the community we have been able to keep that standing, thank you to everyone.”