IT WILL be the “end of an era” for a Tranent business owner who is looking to sell up after 38 years of serving the community.

The Wee Shop on Blawearie Road is now listed for sale as owner Jimmy Thomson, 68, plans for a well-earned retirement.

Mr Thomson, from Gilmerton, opened the convenience store in 1985 with his business partner at the time and is now the sole owner of the business.

He has run the shop with his family, including daughter Laura and son Craig, but has now made the decision to enjoy his retirement.

Laura Thomson, 39, Jimmy’s daughter, told the Courier: “It is the end of an era.

“Dad didn’t make the decision lightly but we recently had a health scare in the family which I think has made him realise that life is too short and that he should take a step back.

“He is in there every day from 5am. We help out when we can but he does a lot of work himself.

“He had considered selling a few years ago but I don’t think he was serious at the time. But he is now.

“I know he is sad to leave it behind. We are all sad too, so it is mixed emotions.”

'Hard to leave it behind'

Laura, who works for Royal Mail, said it would be hard to leave behind the friendships with customers the business had built over the years.

She said: “We have had a lot of reaction from customers once they found out.

“Some even went as far as to say they were devastated to see it being sold.

“It is mixed for us because it is nice that people care so much, it is all the same people who are in all the time, but also it will be hard to leave it behind.

“We’re just taking it one step at a time, though, and not looking too far ahead. Once something is finalised, we might do something to mark him leaving.

“But until it is sold, we will still be operating seven days a week and running the business as usual.”

'A real part of the furniture'

David Forrest, Tranent and Elphinstone Community Council member and former chairman, lives in the area and said that he would miss seeing Jimmy in the shop.

He said: “I have known Jimmy for years and was as shocked as anybody to hear he was selling up.

“I go down there almost every morning, so I have got to know him over the years.

“He is a real part of the furniture in Tranent and has been for a long time, so it is sad to see him retire.

“He told me that he is 68 now and that the time felt right, which I think is a fair enough decision and I wish him the best.

“He has been a big supporter of the community council over the years too with our poppy appeals. He is a real community man.

“I hope Jimmy enjoys his retirement and I will miss seeing him in the shop in the morning.”

'An outstanding opportunity'

The property and business is listed at a guide price of £75,000 by agents Christie & Co, who said: “The business and premises is well established in the local community and has been trading as a traditional newsagents for many years.

“With a loyal customer base built up over many years and a good location to catch early-morning commuters, the business offers a sure footing for a new operator while still leaving plenty of room to increase turnover by modernising internally and improving the offering.

“With consistent weekly sales, the business provides a good foundation to work from. Turnover could be increased by a new owner by extending opening hours, refreshing the internal space to improve the grocery offering, and obtaining an alcohol licence.

“This is an outstanding opportunity to acquire a freehold business in a busy housing area. We believe this would suit a first-time buyer who is looking to run their own business in a ‘hands-on’ manner.”

Bookings to view the property or enquiries should be made to the vendor’s agent Liam Bain on 07732 602268 or via email at