HALE Barns' long-awaited new Booths' store welcomed its first shopper on Wednesday morning - a centenarian who has been one of the company's customers for almost six decades.

The 30,000 square foot food store was officially opened by company chairman Edwin Booth, who welcomed 103-year-old Lillian Barrow, who has shopped at Booths for nearly 60 years. 

Edwin presented Lilian with a bouquet of flowers and a hamper to thank her for her decades of loyalty.

Lillian, who lives 200 yards from the new store at the Sunrise Senior Living complex, has been a regular customer over the years at the Booths store in Knutsford.

A Hale resident since 1956, she puts her longevity down to ‘dark chocolate and determination'.

Her favourite Booths staples, Royal Assam tea, fruit cake, and dark chocolate, hark back to the family-run retailer’s roots as a tea importer in 1847.

To mark the opening of Booths' 31st store, director Simon Booth competed in a smoked salmon slice-off against Guinness world record holder Darren Matson.

 Edwin Booth said; “I’m delighted to open Booths in Hale Barns.

"We take pride in our close links to our farmers and producers as well as the communities in which we trade."  

The Hale Barns store has created more than 90 jobs. It is the anchor store of a £30m revamp of the the Square shopping centre.

The scheme to redevelop the Square was approved by Trafford's planning committee in March 2011, after development plans for the shopping centre had moved back and forth through the planning process for five years.