MARKET MATTERS: Gary sells the way to five-a-day
Selling eggs then moving to fruit and vegetables might seem a like a big change to some but for Gary Keeling that was the very beginning.
Gary’s father, who lived in Stowmarket, started a stall around 55 years ago before swapping half dozens for punnets and bunches.
Gary took over from his dad and travels down from his home in Downham Market every Wednesday and Saturday.
Though he feels the market has got a lot quieter in his time due to the rise of supermarkets, he believes that the pitches still have a place in the town.
He said: “It is a good tradition to have here, it brings people into the town and on days like this when it is sunny people come out and spend, when the weather is bad they dont come, they prefer to keep dry.”
The stall, opposite Barclays bank, gets its vegetables and strawberries from suppliers around the Wisbech and King’s Lynn area, the rest of his fruit comes from New Spitalfields Market in London and that is the favourite part of his job.
Gary said: “I like to buy it on a Tuesday night and Friday night so we get it fresh for each market day. My customers, I think, like the fact it is fresher from the market.”
Even though Brexit is looming, Gary feels it will have little effect on the stall and doesn’t think there will be changes to the bigger picture either.
He said: “We aren’t big enough for that as a stall, they will still send products over to us anyway, prices might change slightly but I don’t see too much of an issue.”
Gary has a daughter who is currently at university and will not be following in her father’s or grandfather’s footsteps.
In his spare time when he gets a chance he likes a spot of gardening.
The stall used to go to King’s Lynn and Beccles markets before they finished and he doesn’t want to see Bury go the same way. The 53-year-old feels from talking to his customers that the answer to help boost the town is simple – “A park and ride is what Bury needs; my regulars tell me it is too expensive to park and some can save themselves three or four quid by going elsewhere, a park and ride would double the people coming in to town.
“Look what it has done for Cambridge. when I go there the buses are packed full of people. I think Bury is big enough to have a park and ride and there is loads to see in Bury such as the Abbey Gardens and its lovely buildings.”