Mr. David Handford owned and operated Hooper's Store on Sesame Street from 1989 to 1998. Mr. Handford was a retired firefighter, who bought the store from David in order to keep active. In his earliest appearances, he often offered fire safety messages. He also appeared in the specials Elmo Saves Christmas and Elmopalooza. Mr. Snuffleupagus ocasionally had trouble pronouncing Mr. Handford's name, calling him Mr. Handfoot, similar to how Big Bird often pronounced Mr. Hooper's name as Mr. Looper.
No specific explanation was given, on screen, to Mr. Handford's departure - Season 29 simply ended with him running Hooper's, and Season 30 began with Alan taking over; Sesame Workshop's official website cites that Mr. Handford had simply sold the store to Alan in 1998.