One of North Devon’s oldest family businesses is celebrating 85 years of furnishing local homes this autumn.
Padfields of Barnstaple has not strayed too far from its roots and remains a retail fixture in the town, with a huge offering, from beds and sofas to flooring and soft furnishings.
It is a third generation family business run by husband and wife team Jeremy and Elizabeth Mills, supported by around 20 staff.
The huge ‘TARDIS-like’ showroom, with entrances in Boutport Street and directly into Green Lanes Shopping Centre, remains on the site of the original business, started in 1933 by Benjamin Creed Padfield.
During World War Two, the shop was requisitioned for use by American GIs and after the war furniture was so scarce, stock came from house clearances and auctions.
Jeremy’s grandfather Kenneth Hooper became a partner in the 1940s and when Mr Padfield retired he bought the business, which has remained in the same family ever since.
In the early years Padfields offered an extensive range of additional services from house removals to estate agency, auctioneering, repairs and even a mattress re-stuffing service.
As it had its own cabinet makers, the company also offered funeral services and still offers a caring 24-hours-a-day service now.
Following a fire and the construction of Green Lanes in the late 1980s, the store was massively enlarged and now covers more than 23,000 square feet and new customers are always surprised at how huge it is inside.
Across four floors, shoppers can view more than 100 sofas and 70-plus beds, as well as bedroom and dining furniture, the latest Stressless recliners, an interior design and soft furnishing department plus flooring section.
Padfields is one of the oldest surviving family businesses in North Devon, probably because, as Jeremy said: “We have always offered top quality products at competitive prices, with the highest levels of service, all of which will hopefully hold us in good stead for the future.”
The store is holding a celebration sale to mark the anniversary and is also running a free draw with a chance to win a Stressless recliner swivel chair and stool with a retail price of £1,799 – just pop into the store to complete your free entry.
Drop in to Padfields seven days a week, visit www.padfields.com or call 01271 324578.