Trading on Bury St Edmunds market is a family affair

Martin Hart and Sons fruit and veg stall on Bury St Edmunds market
Martin Hart and Sons fruit and veg stall on Bury St Edmunds market
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Under yellow canvas the third and fourth generations of the Hart family pitch up twice weekly to sell fruit and vegetables from Bury St Edmunds market.

Martin Hart took over the stall from his father and trades under his trademark yellow stall as Martin Hart and Sons alongside his sons Henry and Charlie and family friend Damon Carter.

The first member of the family to put up a stall and trade on the marketplace was Martin’s grandfather Louie more than 80 years ago.

He brought his family to the area from London during World War II.

His son Eric began helping out on the stall from the age of 16, later taking it over and recruiting his son, Martin.

Martin said: “I was on here from the age of 15 and my sons have been the same. It’s a way of life.”

The stall now stands next to the war memorial in the centre of the market place and both Martin and Henry are optimistic for its future.

Martin said: “We are finding that the younger generation have come to realise that the produce on the market is fresher, tastes better and is very competitively priced.

“All our produce is purchased twice weekly out of London’s premier wholesale market, New Covent Garden.”

At a time when supermarkets are becoming increasingly self-service Martin said that coming to the stall speaking to those who work on it and receiving personal assistance is an important reason people return, something his son Henry agreed with.

Henry said: “You get to know the regular customers.

“If something’s not right you can make it right - I always try to put a smile on a face.”

Henry said that he would like to see his son Archie stand behind the stall one day.

He said: “I would love my boy to work up here. He will be the fifth generation - he’s been here before and he messes around sometimes but he does not have a clue what he’s doing.”

Henry enjoys working at the market and encouraged more people to come and try the produce on offer.

He said: “It’s a very nice market it’s just a shame they can’t keep it full.

“Not enough people really use it. It’s getting them to make the initial spend.

“I have a lot of American customers who I will serve once and that’s it they will come back again and again and become regular customers.”