A MUCH-LOVED family business has celebrated a decade as a part of the town centre.

Shake Express, found at the fountain end of Braintree High Street, has now been a staple of the town centre for ten years.

Run by mother and daughter duo Marion and Becky Horsley, from Braintree, the shop has become a popular part of the town.

Becky spoke of the how the pair began the business.

Braintree and Witham Times: Chris, Marion and Becky HorsleyChris, Marion and Becky Horsley (Image: N/A)

She said: “Marion fancied a new challenge, and I was graduating so it seemed like the perfect time to look at going into business together.

“We looked at tea rooms for sale online as Marion is a keen baker, but Shake Express was the first business we viewed, and we just fell in love.

“The shop had been here for about three years and was set up by our landlord.”

Braintree and Witham Times: Alice, Marion, Becky and Matt on a Carnival dayAlice, Marion, Becky and Matt on a Carnival day (Image: N/A)

Over time, whilst the core menu has stayed the same, the menu has adapted, with the introduction of real fruit smoothies, fruit coolers, iced teas and iced coffees, as well as Deliveroo options to work with the times.

Becky also spoke of her favourite memories and toughest times.

Braintree and Witham Times: Becky and Marion when we were voted a hidden gem by Braintree and Witham Times readers.Becky and Marion when we were voted a hidden gem by Braintree and Witham Times readers. (Image: N/A)

She said: “Our favourite memory would be our fifth birthday when we gave away more than 200 free Oreo shakes.

“We had queues all day but we were still very busy selling other shakes and drinks too.

“People were talking about Shake Express for weeks after. In fact, a year 11 business studies teacher changed his entire lesson plan to talk about it.

“Our hardest challenge would probably be the winter lockdowns.

“As we are a takeaway there were no grants available at that time, so we had no choice but to open.

“All the other shops were closed so obviously the town was very quiet but were lucky to be either a home schooling reward or perhaps a bribe to get children out for a walk and away from a screen at home.”

Braintree and Witham Times: Alice, Becky, Kofi, Marion and ChrisAlice, Becky, Kofi, Marion and Chris (Image: N/A)

The pair also said they “couldn’t believe” they have reached ten years and thanked all their supporters.

Beck said: “It feels like a long time but at the same time it's flown by. We're so pleased to be here in our little shop.

“We've worked hard to build the business and feel we have a good reputation.

“We've had customers that would come in after school but now some have completed school and bringing their own children in.

Braintree and Witham Times: Becky, Kofi and MarionBecky, Kofi and Marion (Image: N/A)

“So many people have played an important part in the running of Shake Express, all our lovely staff that have worked for us over the years, our ice cream supplier who is also a family-run business.

“Thanks to our neighbours in all the other independent shops of fountain end, they are so supportive, and we help each other when we can.

“Thanks also to our own family and friends who have ended up working shifts or running an errand for us, and lastly our wonderful customers as we wouldn't be here without them.”