Issued: July 31, 2016
PICTURES: Pictures can be viewed and downloaded HERE (Credit: Everything Local News)
Council marks 50th anniversary of High Street shop
â€‹The 50th anniversary of an Epping shop has been marked with the presentation of a certificate from Epping Town Council - and a visit from Peppa Pig, George and Peter Rabbit.
The presentation to Piccola in Epping High Street was made by Epping Mayor Cllr Les Burrows and followed the unveiling of a plaque by Epping Forest MP Eleanor Laing recognising the shop's half a century of trading in the town.
Cllr Burrows said: "Epping Town Council is delighted to recognise the achievements of Piccola which is one of Epping's longest established businesses.
"It has been providing a service for generations of people, and it was wonderful to see so many people visit the shop for its special celebrations on Saturday.
"The town council wishes Piccola and its staff many more years of successful trading in Epping."
Piccola celebrated its special anniversary by welcoming the official licensed characters of Peppa Pig and her brother George, as well as Peter Rabbit, who met dozens of delighted children, and adults.
Cllr Burrows presented the framed certificate to the founding owners of Piccola, sisters-in-law Janet Marcantonio and Carol Venditti who still serve behind the counter.
Janet said: "We're so happy to reach this incredible landmark. When Piccola first opened television was in black and white, the Beatles were at their height and people paid for things in shillings and pence, so it's genuinely amazing to think that we're still going strong 50 years later."
She added: "It's been a wonderful journey which has enabled us to be a part of the lives of so many children as they grew up, and it's been even more rewarding to see them return to us as adults to shop for their own sons and daughters. Now we're even seeing customers who first came to Piccola as a child visiting us to buy presents for their grandchildren.
"You can only last in business for 50 years if you have loyal and generous customers and so, above all else, we'd like to thank the wonderful people of Epping for their friendship and kindness over the past half century.
"It's been an honour and a privilege to have been a small part of the history of our great town and its amazing community, and we're so humbled, even now, that the people of Epping still choose to come to us to buy things for their little ones.
"If we have been able to bring happiness to the lives of the children of Epping and their families over the last half century, then the fifty years that Carol and I have spent behind the counter at Piccola will certainly have been time well spent."