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Family firm toasts its centenary year

By Somerset Guardian  |  Posted: August 06, 2011

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It started as a small cafe, named after the owner's two daughters. Now Midsomer Norton-based family business L & F Jones Holdings Ltd has celebrated its 100th year in style with a party for its 300-plus staff.

L & F Jones began life in 1911 in Stratton-on-the- Fosse, when Catherine Lucy Jones was widowed aged 30 and started a shop in her front room to support her five young children. She named it after her two daughters, Leona and Frances.

The business was expanded as new generations of the family took over, and it now runs 15 convenience stores, a cash and carry, the Centurion Hotel, a butchers and a coffee shop.

Current staff and former workers joined a celebration at the Assembly Rooms in Bath to mark the milestone.

Among the 400 people attending was Dorene James, who started working in 1939, aged 14, at Stratton alongside Mrs Jones.

Group managing director Martin Jones said: "The company today continues to be managed and owned by the Jones family 100 years later.

"There are 16 Jones family members actively involved in the business. It is a great testament to L & F Jones that 45 members of the Jones family have worked for the company over the 100 years. Catherine Lucy would have been delighted to know that the business today was thriving and in safe hands."

The old shop and cafe in Stratton became the first wholesale cash and carry in the area but by 1971 larger premises had to be found and the business moved to Radstock before moving to its present site at Charlton Lane in 1983.

The evening raised £850 for the company's charity of the year, Kidney Research UK.

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