Venerable Borders pet supply firm seeks new owner

Coldstream-based WE Howden, founded in 1830, has seen only four owners during its existence. Picture: Contributed
Coldstream-based WE Howden, founded in 1830, has seen only four owners during its existence. Picture: Contributed
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A Borders-based shop that is believed to be the UK’s oldest pet supply business has been put on the market.

Coldstream-based WE Howden was established in 1830 by George Wilson, the inventor of sheep dip, and has seen only four owners during its existence.

The current owner and landlord, Rob Smith, is to retire after being at the helm for the past 45 years.

The business is to be sold jointly by the Edinburgh commercial agency branch of Allied Surveyors and Borders-based solicitor and estate agent Hastings Legal.

Iain Mercer, Allied Surveyor’s director of commercial agency (east), said: “This is an extremely rare and unique opportunity to purchase WE Howden and continue the rich history.

“The purchaser will not only be buying the property freehold but the business goodwill, its extensive database of UK-wide clients and its own brand of dog foods – Coldstream Crunch and Kelso Cobbles.”

The shop premises at 61 High Street, which has a B-listed frontage, was last refitted in 1896. The original dispensary counter and hand-crafted storage units all remain intact.

Smith said: “The craftsmanship is quite something and entirely unique. The new owner will be taking over a business in good shape with plenty of growth opportunities, particularly in our line of own brand pet food.”

Allied Surveyors and Hastings Legal are seeking offers over £175,000.