Mark beats the supermarkets

Mark Bennett at Petals of Spalding. ANL-140310-163412001
Mark Bennett at Petals of Spalding. ANL-140310-163412001
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New Spalding shop trader Mark Bennett is beating the supermarkets – and sometimes the market – on price for his vegetables and flowers.

Mark (46), from Quadring, has taken over the Francis Street shop formerly occupied by greengrocers SJA Produce.

He’s changing the name from The Grocer to Petals of Spalding and is already delighted by the interest shown by eager buyers snapping up fruit, vegetables, hanging baskets planted with winter pansies and cut flowers like lilies.

Mark said: “We are way under supermarket prices. Just as an instance Tesco’s are selling small cauliflowers for £1.20 and we are selling small and large cauliflowers for 50p – Tesco sell their large ones for about two quid.

“We are under some of the market prices as well.”

A ready-planted hanging basket is currently selling at Petals for just £2.50.

The shop will open six days a week and it’s a real family business with Mark’s wife Tina and his mum and dad, Maureen and Ray, taking their turns behind the counter.

Mark has worked on markets for about half a dozen years and will keep his stall at Boston for the time being.

He’s delighted to have the Francis Street shop.

“I think slap, bang in the middle of the town centre suits us,” he said. “We get a lot of footfall through here for the car park across the road.”

Shelly Andrew, who previously had the shop with husband Steve, said: “We wish Mark every success.”

SJA Produce shut up shop simply because it doubled its number of market days from three to six, spread across Spalding, Crowland, Long Sutton and Holbeach.