Popular fruit and veg trader, Ian’s 5 a day have left Chester Market and moved to a new premises in Blacon. Words and pictures Paul Crofts
Ian and Jane Hall, owners of Ian’s 5 A Day, took the decision not to apply to move to the new Chester Market and instead opted to move to larger, more cost-effective premises housed in the former Blacon Library opposite the Spa convenience store on Western Avenue
The shop which specialises in offering quality fresh, seasonal fruit and vegetables was officially opened recently with a ribbon cutting ceremony performed by their Grandchildren, Skyla, Bobby, Archie and Millie.
Speaking about leaving Chester Market after 30 years, Ian said “I’ve loved working in the market for so many years, the people I’ve met and worked with are friends for life and this is what I will miss the most. Opening up our own shop in Blacon, where we live, is actually the best thing we could have done, the response we’ve had since our opening day has been amazing, we are just blown away.”
The couple who deliberated long and hard about whether to apply to move to the new Market cited high rents as one of the main reasons why they decided against the move. Their departure comes as a number of other long-standing traders have also recently chosen to re-locate their businesses in other parts of the City ahead of the closure of the current Market in the Autumn to make way for the new Chester Market which is part of the Northgate Development. Meanwhile new additions to the current market include Sophie Jackson art shop, Geeky Nerd Toys and Fresh Pots food house.
Ian said “I have worked in the Market for around 30 years working alongside other people, then in 2017, I got approached to take over the fruit and veg stall. I started introducing many new lines, suppling to lots of businesses within the city and it was a huge success. Unfortunately, the bus station moving and then the new Market being built has had a massive impact on everyone in there. When we got told the rental costs for a stall in the new Market, my wife had to close her shop in the Market down and just concentrate on the one business moving across but looking in to it further, we just knew that financially, the new Market was going to be a struggle for even just the fruit and veg shop”.
Ian added “We are looking forward to our future now though as we had many worrying times over whether or not to move to the new market, but I do hope it will be a great success for the traders that are going over there.”
Since opening, the couple have received tremendous support from regular customers and also local residents who are delighted to see a greengrocer’s back in Blacon. Ian’s Wife, Jane who runs the business alongside him said “We’ve had such fantastic feedback since we opened, we actually sold out of several lines on our first day and had to re-stock. We’d like to say a massive thank you to everyone who helped us to get the shop ready and to everyone who has been to see us for their support and good wishes. We really hope the shop will be an asset to the local community. It’s been great to see many of our existing customers who continue to support us and to see new customers coming to find us.”