The historic borough of Gravesend originated as a trading centre on the Thames. Much of its medieval town plan survives to the present day. As part of this a number of family retail businesses became established in the town centre.

In 1991 Gravesend was one of the first towns in Kent to establish a town centre management scheme. Much of the desire to do this came from the proximity to the borough of two of the largest regional shopping centres in Europe.

On the menu opposite there is a selection of some of those family retail businesses that are well known locally and fondly remembered.