Trader Feature – Vicky Lunn

October 3, 2013

Tuesday – B92, B93, B94, B95
Wednesday – C35, C36, C37
Thursday – B104, B105, B111, B112
Friday- B104, B105, B106, B110, B111, B112
Saturday – B104, B105, B111, B112

Walk through Leicester Market and you can’t help but be drawn to the vast array of fruit and vegetable stalls on offer, each providing something different to shoppers.

Vicky Lunn, alongside her team, runs one of the Market’s biggest fruit and veg stalls. We spoke to the woman nicknamed ‘Miss Mango’ to find out more about the stall…

How long have you traded at Leicester Market and how did the stall start up?
We started as a family business 45 years ago. My dad started it after having something of a brainwave, as he used to sell handbags. He thought to himself that he would try fruits and carried it on alongside my mum. From a young age, I would be sat on the orange boxes behind the stall. I worked on Saturday for goodness knows how many years, as soon as I could see over the counter! I’ve been keeping it as a family business, with my nephew Josh (pictured with Vicky) working with me too. I’ve been here for 25 years.

How important is it that stalls pass on from generation to generation?
It’s really important. Dad still does a lot of behind-the-scenes work, but I do a lot of the work on the stalls now. I love it; I love the job and wouldn’t change it for the world. Even today, a lot of my dad’s old customers continue coming here. It’s a wonderful atmosphere because of that familiarity; it’s something you don’t get in shops on the high street.

You stock a wide selection of fruit and vegetables; what products are most popular?
I stock produce that I would eat. If it’s not good enough for me, it’s not good enough for my customers and, if people are unhappy with it, I just say return it and we’ll replace it for you.

We’re very proud of our mangoes. We’re the mango king and queen! People actually call me ‘Miss Mango’ and they know what they get when they come here to buy one. People come here because they know they’ll get quality here, not rubbish. Rubbish goes in the bin where it belongs.

What do you think makes Leicester Market so unique?
The fact that nothing is set here, there aren’t the rules, regulations and company policies that you have in shops, which allows a more relaxed atmosphere between traders and shoppers. You can have a laugh with shoppers and you know which ones you can be cheeky and have a bit of banter with – and people love that. If people can come here with a frown and leave with a smile on their face, even if they spend £1, I’m happy with that. It’s a philosophy that even the younger staff on the stall has.

What would your message be to people going to supermarkets for their fruit and veg?
Don’t be put off my bad reviews of the Market. Some people have said that their friends don’t shop at the market because it’s rubbish and that’s not true. It’s all about where you go in the Market and if you have a regular place to go when you’re there, you’ll develop a customer/trader bond and they will look after you and make sure you get good quality stuff.

You can’t have a nice soft peach in a supermarket immediately with the juice running down your chin! That’s what a peach should be like – and that’s the experience that you get from buying produce at the Market. If you don’t know where you should be going; ask, because we’ll always point you in the right direction.

Vicky Lunn trades at Leicester Market Tuesday through to Saturday.