Trader Tony adjusts to life without the market by launching delivery service
- Credit: Archant
Market trader Tony Fields has been getting up early for 40 years to go to a different Norfolk market every day.
Visting market towns such as Fakenham, Aylsham, and Bury St Edmunds would mean getting up at 3am, filling up the van with stock and getting ready for a day of trading.
Mr Fields, from Norwich, is still up this early, but with the markets in lockdown, the only job to do is the first dog walk of the day.
While he agrees that closing the markets was the right thing to do, he cannot wait to be back.
“We love what we do, it is a way of life. Fresh air all day, talking with customers and having a bit of banter. It is better than working for a living,” he joked.
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But, after receiving calls from his customers to see if they could still get a hold of his stock, Mr Fields decided he would start a delivery service for his deli.
Selling fresh cheese, meats, and other fresh produce over the internet and delivering boxes to people’s doors across East Anglia.
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Despite having no experience in this sort of business, Mr Fields said it was his passion for his job that inspired him to take up the delivery service.
“I would rather keep busy. I have always been self-employed and it is all we know,” he said.
“I’m doing it to keep the business ticking over. This is not really a money-making project.”
He said that people have appreciated the service, with loyal customers across the region buying hundreds of boxes a week.
They are offering three different kinds, a survival box with meats and cheeses, a grazing box focused on healthy food, or a sweet treat box.
The deliveries have taken over his time, as he plans the stock he will buy, arranges boxes for delivery and then spends three days dropping off parcels to the doors.
The service is offering new challenges for the trader. He knows how much stock to bring to the market every week. But it is harder to guess when you need the clicks to know how many people are looking to buy.