Salesman retires after 44 years selling blinds

Barry Ellis is leaving Cooks Blinds after 44 years of service. Picture: COOKS BLINDS

Barry Ellis is leaving Cooks Blinds after 44 years of service. Picture: COOKS BLINDS - Credit: Archant

Barry Ellis joined Cooks blinds in the long, hot summer of 1976 and nearly half a century later he retired in the midst of another summer that will go down in the history books.

At the start of July Mr Ellis retired from his role as sales director at Norwich based Cooks Blinds, which serves customers across Suffolk and Norfolk.

He said: “My 44 years in the industry with Cooks seems to have gone in a flash.

“I joined Cooks as an installer, with the late Brian and Bernard Cook, in the hot summer of 1976. I could not have asked for two better mentors.

“I spent approximately 15 years on the tools, with every opportunity to learn and advance with the business as we grew. From then on, the rest of my career was in sales, and a few years later, I became Sales Director.

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“The years spent installing were absolutely invaluable, and I occasionally still assisted on some installs right to the end.

“I will be forever thankful and grateful for the trust, the opportunities and the friendship I have had from the Cooks family throughout my career. Bernard once said to me: ‘People who get ahead in life, are those who do a little bit more than necessary and keep doing it’.”

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He continued: “As I leave the industry, even after all these years seeing what is available with new products, the advancement of existing products, new technology, the British Blinds & Shutter Association and support from the suppliers, the future is looking bright.

“I have had the opportunity to visit some amazing places, meet some amazing people, some becoming lifelong friends. Would I do it all again? In a flash.

“The last 44 years have been more than interesting and I have a million good memories. I will miss the buzz of completing a sale, meeting new people and problem solving.”

Martin Blythe, who is taking over as sales director, said: “They are big shoes to fill. He’s got a lot of experience.

“Barry gave me great advice and leadership. He taught me a lot of core values and how to do the sales part of Cooks.

“He’s very methodical and a very clever guy.

“He was always there at the end of the phone or in the office and he’d always be there to give me five minutes of his time.

“From my point of view he was always a positive figure.”

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