The world’s oldest sweet shop which opened in 1827 is up for sale as its owner launches his ambition to be North Yorkshire’s next Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner (PFCC).
Keith Tordoff, 63, and his family are hoping to fetch £399,000 for The Oldest Sweet Shop In The World in Pateley Bridge so he can start campaigning in the new year to represent his fellow North Yorkshire residents at the elections in May.
Mr Tordoff, who was granted an MBE last year for his services to business and the community in Nidderdale, spent the first 20 years of his career as a police officer in Leeds and 10 years as an investigator for the Bank of Scotland before running the shop in Pateley Bridge with his wife Gloria.
He has served as chairman of Nidderdale Chamber of Trade and helped Pateley Bridge win gold at the Royal Horticultural Society’s annual Britain in Bloom competition earlier this year.
He said: “I’ve worked for the community all my life and I’ve got something to offer in experience and knowledge. There’s nobody better qualified than me.”
One of the first things he would do as PFCC would be to tackle anti-social behaviour, drugs and theft which he said is “getting out of hand” in towns and villages in North Yorkshire.
As an independent candidate, Mr Tordoff said he hopes to be able to challenge every politician and not have any political biases that might stand in the way of getting the job done.
“I’ve never stood as an MP - I’m a doer. I believe that will resonate with every police officer and firefighter. I have a proven track record of delivering on everything I’ve said I’d do.
“I’m driven by wanting to see things change and I get very frustrated when people accept [things as] the norm.”
He hopes to sell the shop in the new year to allow him to get around North Yorkshire, speak to people and take part in hustings.
Mr Tordoff said he would be sad to leave the shop behind after nearly 25 years but the long hours and busy days would make it impossible to do both jobs.
“It’s a fantastic business. You get to speak to local people and people from everywhere. It’s been an important part of my life.”
The shop was validated in 2014 by Guinness World Records as the oldest continuous trading sweet shop in the world and, while it looks small from the outside, does a roaring online trade from people across the globe who have seen it on travel documentaries and lifestyle programmes.