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Haverhill shopkeeper all set to relocate to a much bigger premises




A super shopkeeper is all set to boost his business with the aims of supporting local producers, providing new jobs and boosting community spirit.

Mario Coliof, 43, who runs Ist Traveller at 21-27 Hollands Road, Haverhill, is all set to move further along the road to 55A Hollands Road at the beginning of August.

The move will see the general store quadruple in size as well as introducing a whole new range of local produce from three local counties.

Mario Coliof at the 1st Traveller shop in Haverhill. He is soon to move to a much bigger premises. Picture by Mecha Morton.
Mario Coliof at the 1st Traveller shop in Haverhill. He is soon to move to a much bigger premises. Picture by Mecha Morton.

In his previous job, working his way up through the ranks of nursing at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, in Cambridge, he became known as ‘Super Mario’, for all of his hard work.

He is applying that same vigour to his shop business, as well as also running a nursing and care agency, MTA Health Care Solution, at the same time.

“Everything is possible if you work hard and devote the time, and the stress,” said Mario, who is originally from Romania.

Mario Coliof at his shop the 1st Traveller, which is moving to another bigger premises in Haverhill. Picture by Mecha Morton (38432918)
Mario Coliof at his shop the 1st Traveller, which is moving to another bigger premises in Haverhill. Picture by Mecha Morton (38432918)

“As an essential store we have been open throughout the Covid crisis but it has been tough. Some weeks we saw no customers at all as people just weren’t leaving their homes.

“We introduced a pick-up and drop-off service, free of charge, and that kept us going along with a business grant.

“Our shop is small at the moment but it will be about four times the size when we move. The new premises is being completely refurbished with new floors, ceilings, kitchen, fridge units, and air conditioning. There are also plans for a bakery.

“It will have a one-way system, separate entrance and exit and screening at the tills amongst the necessary Covid-19 precautions for staying safe.”

At the moment the store sells everything from cleaning products to fresh and tinned foods, and alcohol.

“We have now also linked up with food producers from Suffolk, Essex and Cambridge,” said Mario.

“We are closer to town and want to help build the sense of community.

“I’ve run the store for the past year with my wife, Taiana, and we will be looking to take on one or two staff, too.

“Haverhill is a multicultural town and we want to make sure there is something for everyone.”


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