THE owners of an iconic family-run business in West Belfast says it is "business as usual" after putting the building up for sale.
McPeakes on the Falls Road first opened in 1939 by Seamus McPeake, specialising in hardware in DIY before adding fancy dress, party wares and flowers to its offerings down through the years.
After 20 years at the helm, Daniella Campbell (née McPeake) and her husband Sean say the time has come to think about retiring – and putting the building up for sale is the start of that process.
Speaking to the Andersonstown News, Danielle said: "Putting the building up for sale is the start of a process. We are both at the stage of thinking about retiring.
"Our children have all got their own careers. They all worked here when they were younger but they all decided the business is not what they would like to continue doing.
"It wasn’t a decision we made lightly but you have to stop sometime.
"We will be here 85 years in January. It was originally started by my grandfather, who passed it on to my mum and dad.
"The business started as a paint, glass and DIY shop and developed it over the years. My mum opened the flowers side of things.
"I left school at 16-years-old and came in to work here as a florist. The business then developed to include party items like balloons.
"Developing the business has really allowed it to go from strength to strength. We do a lot of stuff for birthdays, christenings and weddings.
"We then introduced the fancy dress costumes one Halloween and it proved really popular with customers. The younger generation probably know us best for the fancy dress whereas the older generation know us for DIY and hardware."
Danielle says she has been left "flabbergasted" by phone calls and messages after announcing the building was up for sale, but wants to stress it is business as usual for now.
"Over the last few days, we have been flabbergasted by phone calls from around the world as far as the USA and Australia as well as people coming in," she added. "It is amazing that the business is held in such high regard. It is very touching.
"It is emotional for me, given all the generations of my family who have been associated with the business.
"Our message to our customers is that it is business as usual. Putting the building up for sale is just the start of a process. It could take a year or two years or whatever to sell the building.
"The estate agents are very confident it will appeal to a wide range of potential customers, given its location taking in the Falls, Springfield and Grosvenor.
"It is a matter of sitting back and seeing what happens but now, it is business as usual. We are looking forward to a busy Christmas season."