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Partner looks back at P&M success as he heads into retirement

The team at Patrick & Menzies has waved a fond farewell to Andrew Patrick who has retired more than 30 years after he co-founded the business.  

Andrew and his business partner Gill Menzies opened the first branch of Patrick & Menzies in Braintree in 1988. They wanted to create an independent optician that put the customer first, and they soon began to see this vision flourish.  

Before striking out alone, Andrew had worked for an independent optician which was then taken over by a national chain. He had become frustrated with the limitations this brought, such as only sourcing items from specific suppliers, even if it meant not being able to meet the needs of the patient.  

Gill had a similar experience and so together they decided to set up an independent optician that did things differently to the rest.  

Not long after Braintree opened two further branches were unveiled in Brightlingsea and Mersea, with the team enjoying being at the heart of the community in these small market town locations.  

Andrew said: “We have lots of patients who have been with us since day one, some who we first saw as children who now come in with their own children, which is wonderful. 

“Over the years we have been very lucky to have so many fantastic people working with us, many have been with us more than 20 years. We are fiercely independent, and proud to offer something different than the large chains.” 

Andrew decided to take retirement to spend more time with his family, in particular his young grandchildren. He is also looking forward to playing some golf and taking part in volunteer work in the great outdoors.  

All that will have to wait a while though as on the day of his retirement Andrew injured his back and is now slowly recovering.  

 One of the things he is looking forward to once he is back on his feet is visiting the newest Patrick & Menzies branch in Manningtree, which opened in September.  

“Manningtree is a great location and will fit well with our other branches. Dan and the team have worked really hard to get it up and running and I’m sure it will be a great success,” Andrew added.  

Over the years Andrew has worked across the Patrick & Menzies branches, but will be a more familiar face to patients who visited the Braintree practice where he spent much of his time.  

“My proudest achievement is helping to create a team of people who enjoy what they are doing, and are brilliant at what they do,” he added. “I will really miss working with them all.” 

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