THE retiral of Carol Valente brings to an end the 71 year connection of her family with the Lochore business community.

Carol was less than a year-old when her mum and dad moved to Benarty from Auchtermuchty and her father Angelo was to become a very well known figure in the area as he ran several businesses and became a local councillor.

Carol recalled this week that she was working in the business from a very young age and then went on to start her own business in 1981.

"My dad opened Angelo's Chip Shop, in Lochore, soon after mum and he arrived in the village and soon after other things followed such as Angelo's Hideaway Discotheque and then Angelo's Bingo Club," she said, "Then later he became a chiropractor and was to help a lot of people get over their sore backs and other limbs.

"He encouraged me to help out in his various outlets when I was very young and it was something I enjoyed and later I felt I would like to run my own business and in 1981 I opened a shop selling clothes.

"Later I opened Domestic Bliss, which has been a home ware business but also selling cards and gifts and I have been fortunate to have a very loyal customer base which has reached throughout Benarty and also to the Cowdenbeath and Lochgelly areas.

"The support of the public has been something I have been very grateful for over a lot of years and their reaction when it became known I was to retire has been very humbling."

Carol underlined how the retail trade had changed over the last few years: "There is no doubt that social media is playing a huge role these days in retail at all levels.

"Domestic Bliss has had its own Facebook page and there have been some lovely messages from people posted on it.

"It has also made things a little different in terms of enquiries with people contacting me at all times of day through it and it led to some long days but very interesting ones."

The reaction to her retiral from her fellow business people also was something that struck her: "I received a big card and a massive floral display which made me feel really spoiled.

"Also I have been overwhelmed by the number of cards and gifts I have received from customers, I cannot thank them enough for this and also for their incredible support over a great many years."

What is Carol going to go in her retiral? "I am still busy getting the shop ready for the handover and I have been lucky to have the assistance of my daughter in that," she said.

"I will be moving from the family home just along the road as it is too big for me and then I will think about what I can enjoy doing in my spare time."

The Domestic Bliss shop premises at 96 Lochleven Road will be taken over by Peter Murphy, of Benarty Fruits.