5 Holyrood Street
From what we can find out, County Stores was opened in Chard in 1916. The company also opened stores, in the same year, in Ilminster, Wiveliscombe, Langport, Kingston St. Mary and Milverton. At one time there were nine branches around Somerset.
The company was run by the Duder family for five generations until 2019, the Taunton store being opened in 1832. It was dubbed the “Harrods of the West”, which describes the distinct brand of quality the stores attempted to supply their customers.
Everyone we talked to mentioned the lovely smell of fresh ground coffee emanating from the coffee bean roaster and blender at the front of the shop. Alongside selling freshly ground coffee the Chard store had a delicatessen with cheeses and meats, cream cakes and biscuits, groceries, sometimes including more exotic fruit and vegetables.
People also mentioned the pleasant atmosphere within the store. County Stores resisted changes to customer service retaining the traditional counter service rather than self-service, providing customers with a personal service.
For a number of years the site has been occupied by the New Look clothing store.
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