‘DO ONE thing, and do it well.’
For Terry Rayner, owner of Terwins Seeds on Bury St Edmunds market, there was never a truer word spoken.
Having spent 30 years working for firms in the seed business, Terry set out his own stall in Bury in January of 2004.
Now in a prime spot outside Starbucks, Terwins Seeds has become the go-to place for growers, selling everything from calabrese to carrots.
Terry, 65, settled in Bury after other markets did not quite cut it – but why?
“Bury is a very nice market – we’ve built up our customer base here and it suits us.
“I’ve worked with seeds most of my life and I love meeting people and having a laugh,” he says.
In recent years, Terry has had a familiar face opposite him on the market – his wife of 36 years, Win.
Her wool stall has provided the perfect balance for the couple, with the wool business strong in the winter while the seed trade is quiet, and vice versa in the summer.
Like Terry, it is the social side of the market that keeps Win coming back.
“Meeting people and having a chat is what it’s all about and we both enjoy it,” she says.
A surge in the popularity of both home-growing and knitting has seen both stalls witness a change in their customer base.
Terry says: “I think the recession has probably made people more likely to grow their own fruit and vegetables and knitting has become quite trendy.
“We get a whole range of customers now, of all ages and experience and it’s good to see.”
The couple can be found in Bury on a Saturday and Wednesday, but the rest of the week sees Terry and Win working hard at their warehouse in Cockfield.
Seeds are shipped in from nurseries and placed into the branded Terwins packets, with plants and seedlings to complement their range.
Terwins – a blend of Terry and Wins’ names – moved from its position near Abbeygate Street to its current location just before the arc shopping centre opened.
Terry said the centre’s impact had been largely been good for the market.
“It has helped this market because it brings people in,” he says.
“People start there and then come into town, and in the position we’re in now we get the footfall from people going from the arc into Marks and Spencer.”
There is room for improvement in the town’s car parking arrangements, according to Terry, but the couple appear happy with their lot.
Far from making plans for retirement, Terry says they will be showing off Terwins out of Suffolk next year, with appearances at a number of shows.
A rebranding of their packaging is also planned and a website is up and running.
Terwins continued presence on Bury market is good news for growers. For Terry, it’s all he knows.