AN upmarket shop once dubbed the ‘Harrods of Halstead’ is returning to the street where its first store opened more than 40 years ago.

Evans Gifts and Interiors, an elegant boutique specialising in stylish furniture and luxury homeware and gifts, first opened in Halstead in 1974 by sisters and business partners Sue Derrick and Diane Pumo.

Its attractive shopfront, with impressive window displays and colourful hanging baskets, occupied an elevated position on the town’s High Street until 2012, when Sue and husband Hugh, who also raised a family above the store, retired and closed its doors.

The couple’s daughter, Georgia Derrick, decided to continue the family business herself over the border in Suffolk.

Georgia said: ‘‘My parents closed Evans in Halstead several years ago and it soon became a wedding shop.

‘‘But then myself and my husband Russell decided we wanted to carry on the name and so we opened a shop in Long Melford shortly after.’’

Following a highly successful seven years in the Suffolk village, during which time the demand for the quirky brand’s unique and beautiful products has grown, the couple decided to expand the long-running business and embrace the company’s origins, by re-opening a shop in the town that started it all off 45 years ago.

Georgia said: “Our customers have always told us how much they miss the shop in Halstead and it is such a beautiful space to present the type of goods we sell.

‘‘So, we feel it is now the right time to expand our brand and take it back to Halstead and return to the high street where it all started, and we are very excited about the opportunity.’’

Former customers are thrilled the store is returning to its old home.

Valerie Lowe, who first visited Evans 23 years ago, wished the pair good luck on social media, and Louise-Jane Simms, who shopped there throughout the Eighties, echoed fellow well-wishers, saying: ‘‘Good luck – it’s always been the place to be.’’

Lucy Lucinda Clark said: “Fantastic news – I can’t wait.

“I loved, loved, loved your old shop in Halstead.”

Sue Bellman added: ‘‘That’s great news. I used to visit the shop and it had so much character.’’

The new Halstead store opens on Saturday, June 1 at 9am.