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Market stall greengrocer launches online fruit and veg hampers

PUBLISHED: 14:01 29 July 2020 | UPDATED: 14:17 29 July 2020

The deluxe family fruit and veg box by Mike, Debs & Sons greengrocer on the Norwich market. Inset: Brendan, Debs, Mike and James Read. Picture:  Mike, Debs & Sons

The deluxe family fruit and veg box by Mike, Debs & Sons greengrocer on the Norwich market. Inset: Brendan, Debs, Mike and James Read. Picture: Mike, Debs & Sons

Mike, Debs & Sons

A Norwich market favourite which has been in business for more than fifty years has gone online having previously sworn it would never have a website.

The vegetable selection hamper by Mike, Debs & Sons. Picture:  Mike, Debs & SonsThe vegetable selection hamper by Mike, Debs & Sons. Picture: Mike, Debs & Sons

Mike, Debs & Sons has been operating out of the Norwich Market since opening in 1968, and for this first time in its history has taken its produce to the web.

The business is now selling a mixture of hamper-style fruit and veg boxes as well as offering bespoke order delivery service.

The Read family, which owns the business, made the decision as a result of lockdown when footfall fell to virtually zero in the city centre.

The greengrocers is run by founders Mike and Debs and their sons James and Brendan.

MORE: Norwich one of UK’s slowest cities to recover from virus, according to report

James Read said: “We always said we wouldn’t have a website just because we didn’t need one.

“But the city centre is still quiet. Usually we have loads of European visitors by now and there are a few starting to come back, but a lot of our customers are a bit older and aren’t out and about yet. We needed a way to reach them.”

The majority of the produce currently stocked is sourced from Norfolk suppliers.

Mr Read said: “I wouldn’t sell anything I wouldn’t eat myself. We could go to wholesalers in London and buy some second class produce and sell it for a pound or so cheaper. But it would go off within a few days whereas the first class stuff we sell can last you a week.

“It’s really important to support local at the moment – small business have had a kicking because of this virus.”

The news comes following this paper’s campaign, Love Local, encouraging readers to buy with regional businesses.

The boxes, as well as the bespoke orders, will be on offer for delivery for postcodes from NR1 through to NR7.

“We just want to get back out there. Usually it’s a really lovely job because you get to know your regulars and become part of each other’s lives and routines. It’ll be good to get back out there and chatting to them again,” Mr Read added.

For more information visit Norwichfruitandveg.co.uk.


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