Cowplain great-grandmother, 85, retires from Waterlooville coffee shop after 43 years serving customers
AFTER four decades of serving customers in the same Waterlooville coffee shop, a hardworking great-grandmother is retiring from the job she loves.
Since 1977, Frances Colley has dished out steaming cups of coffee, hot and cold food to the public but after 43 years she is hanging up her apron.
Now called Coffeeville, the bakery has changed hands various times over 85-year-old Frances’ career since she was taken on when it was named Smith and Vosper after walking into the shop for a bite to eat.
Frances, from Cowplain, said: ‘I worked with some lovely people. When you’re happy in a job, you don’t look for another one. I just enjoyed doing it.
‘Apart from the machines being updated, coffee is still made the same. You get to know what people want when they walk through the door. I have made lots of friends with the customers.’
Several opportunities to take on a more managerial role came up over the years, but Frances was happy interacting with the customers.
Frances, who has done more than her share of crack-of-dawn starts to open the shop, has gradually reduced her hours as she’s got older.
She added: ‘It’s always been a very happy time. I shall miss it, I’ll miss all the girls too. They’re a lovely lot in that shop.
‘When the lockdown started and we were at home for such a long time, I felt that I slowed down. There's so many new things and I wasn’t picking them up quite as quickly as I was.’
Well-earned retirement for Frances will include working on her garden and going for walks, as well as curling up with a good book.
Family-orientated Frances will also have more time to spend with her three children, four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren who all live locally.
Proud son Peter Colley, 61, said: ‘There’s no doubt at all we’re all incredibly proud of her. There aren’t many people who work to her age or for the length of time she has done.
‘She’s quite amazing. She’s so family orientated and lucky to have pretty much the whole family living close to her. She’s always there for all of us and we know that.
‘It’s an amazing achievement and we’re all very proud of what she has done.’