One of Morecambe’s longest-standing businesses is to close its doors for good later this month.
Jerome Celebration Cakes in Euston Road has been a favourite among Morecambe shoppers for 35 years.
But owner Margaret Driver and her husband Jerome now plan to move to Australia to be with some of their family in their retirement.
The shop will close on April 30 – and Margaret is selling off everything inside, including the fixtures and fittings.
Margaret and Jerome moved to Morecambe from Harare in Zimbabwe in 1983 and the cake and souvenir shop soon became a mainstay of the town centre.
They initially took over Bracewells bakery in Woborrow Road, Heysham, before opening their cake shop in Queen Street.
The couple battled back from personal tragedy to build Jerome Celebration Cakes into a thriving business. Their son Rory died after being hit by a drunk driver while crossing the road in Melbourne in 1999 while on a working tour of Australia, aged just 23.
Jerome Celebration Cakes moved to its current spot in New Town Square, opposite the Morecambe mosaic, in 2008, specialising in wedding, birthday and christening cakes, as well as being famed for its ‘Betty Boop’ ornaments.
But at the age of 65, Margaret has decided the time is right to retire.
The couple will then sell their house and move over to Perth, where their two daughters are based.
“It’s the end of an era and if we weren’t moving to Australia I wouldn’t be closing the shop,” Margaret said. “You’d have to drag me out of it.
“It’s been my livelihood all my life, it’s always been my passion, and I have customers who have now grown up and have their own grandchildren now. Everyone has been coming in to say thank you, which has been lovely. I go home most days now in tears.
“I want to say thank you to all our customers over the years – everyone has been wonderful.
“We have had thousands of customers and seen them through the generations; we can’t say thank you enough for their wonderful support.”
Margaret said she is looking forward to a busy retirement in Australia.
“We have got five grandchildren over there, and five dogs which will all be going over with us, so I think I will have my hands full!” she said.
Margaret added her thanks to her manager Lisa Roberts for all her dedication and commitment over the years, along with former staff member Barbara Rich.
“We couldn’t have done it without them,” she said. “We owe them both a big thank you.”