A presentation was arranged for the couple, who run Anne’s Pantry in Kylepark, to acknowledge their kindness and dedication to customers since lockdown began.
The Whytes, who have owned the store for 33 years, were given flowers, cards and £450 in cash by grateful residents and were overwhelmed by the gesture.
Helen, 67, said: “This is a lovely surprise and totally unexpected but it’s nice to be appreciated. It has put a big smile on my face.”
The presentation was organised by Alice Martin after the Whytes stepped in to help her and others during the pandemic.
Alice, of Kylepark, said: “I’d been abroad just as lockdown began and decided to self-isolate for two weeks when I got home.
“Helen stepped in and delivered all my groceries.
‘‘I was so grateful that she could do this and there are loads of folk just like me.
“Nothing is too much trouble. Lockdown made me appreciate what I had and Helen and Bobby were a constant through that. I knew I could rely on them.”
She started a collection a month ago and gathered £450 with donations still coming in. More than 50 people contributed.
Alice added: “We are so lucky to have Anne’s Pantry. It’s open from 6am and I think it only shuts two days a year.
“It’s been in Kylepark for over 100 years. We must recognise and support local businesses like this. Helen and Bobby are dedicated to serving the community.”
Modest Bobby, 62, said: “We’re very grateful but we’re not doing anything we wouldn’t normally do. No matter what life throws at us, hail, rain or snow, we just plod on. It’s what we do.”
The Whytes haven’t yet decided what to do with the money but Bobby said a garden bench was one option.
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