End Of An Era At Mortimer & Bennett
As Dan Mortimer leaves Chiswick after 25 years
Dan Mortimer has announced his retirement after 25 years behind the counter of Mortimer & Bennett on Turnham Green Terrace.
The "grumpy man of Chiswick", as he calls himself, has called it a day and has moved with his wife to a quiet rural location near Chichester.
He says he will miss his "wonderful customers" but is pleased that the shop will remain a delicatessan, retaining all its products and introducing some more under the care of Jennie Evans, who is proprietor of Bayley & Sage in Parson's Green and Wimbledon.
All the staff will remain, and Dan can be seen around for another few days. After Christmas the shop will get a makeover and the name will be changed.
Mortimer & Bennett was formed following a chance meeting at a party between Dan and Di Bennett. Both were looking for career opportunities at the time and saw an opening in Chiswick where the only delicatessan in the area was closing. They found a health food store in Turnham Green Terrace was available and set about making contacts with food producers.
The venture was a whole new world for Dan who had worked in the rag trade in the 1960s, in business with a friend designing 'wide ties'- he then moved into the export side of a garment company but was made redundant. Until then he had rejected the idea of moving into the food business as his father owned a number of restaurants and he had wanted a different career.
The shop sells over 100 types of cheese bought from small producers, as well as charcuterie from farms, artisan breads, daily products, pastries and cakes, smoked salmon and smoked fish, pates, jams, chutneys and a variety of other goods..
Dan has seen many changes in Chiswick during his 25 years and says it has become very difficult for independent traders to operate with high rent and rates. He is also unhappy about the number of estate agents in TGT in what was once a village shopping street, as he describes it.
"Lots of customers are coming in saying ' you can't leave us' but I feel its time to go after 25 wonderful years of being in Chiswick so I'm bowing out gracefully", he says.