Trader Spotlight – LB Hunt

April 23, 2014

Location: Unit 21, 22 and 23 – Indoor Market

Produce: Fish, seafood, poultry and game

Leicester Market’s website visited LB Hunt’s owner, Leo Hunt, to find out more about the incredible range of fish, seafood, poultry and game available on his stall; in addition to his history of trading at Leicester Market…

How long have you been trading at Leicester Market?
Well, my father was in it and his father was in it – so the stall has been something passed down through the generations. I’m actually the fourth generation of the family to have managed the stall. My great grandfather, who started the stall, was supposedly the first man to bring fresh fish into Leicester by rail – so it’s been quite a few years!

What affect are you hoping the new Indoor Market will have?
Sadly, I think that some of the atmosphere has been lost a bit, with trade falling by the wayside and some of the units now closed – but I think that there was a buzz and the aisles were full of characters – it was brilliant. It was that character which made me get involved in it, the whole atmosphere was really special. Hopefully, with the developments taking place, we will get that back, with there being a nice flowing building existing again. If we can condense it down, have people flowing in again; then it will create a great atmosphere with the banter and joking going on once more.

We’ve had some great years in this building, but it’s time now to move on.

What do you feel separates you from other traders?
We do everything. We have a selection of game, venison, rabbit; we stock everything from a quail’s egg to a whale’s tail and if it flies or swims, I sell it. I feel that we have the product range that gives us the edge and that’s come through years of creating more space to be able to do so.

We have quails eggs, snails, shark steaks and anything out of the ordinary, I tend to stock.

What is a key product that people come to you for?
That’s a tough one, because I think it’s the speciality produce that attracts people; even if it’s a specific cut. We could have a whole halibut, which could weigh 300 pounds, but people may want a specific slice for a dinner party. You wouldn’t get that anywhere else.

In terms of regular products, things like scallops and fresh prawns are two of my best lines. Prawns especially, as food from all cultures love to include prawns in their cuisine.

There’s a much higher level of service here, compared to a supermarket fishmonger, isn’t there?
I still think that I’m relatively young in the trade, being in my 40s, but I have been in or around the trade for 40 years, being able to listen and gain the experience. I’ve been able to work alongside some of the finest traders over the years and I learnt a lot of my skills from them. As an 8-year-old boy, I was watching pros that had – at that time – been in and around the trade for 50 years. There are things I know that give me the edge, because unless I pass it on to the next generation, they’re never going to know.

Trading hours?
We usually start at 6:00am and we’re usually the last ones out the door in the afternoon – between 4:30pm and 5:00pm.

What do you want to see at Leicester Market in the future?
Perhaps some people have turned away from market shopping in recent years, but what I would love to see is the same atmosphere, experienced during key dates across the calendar like Bank Holidays and Christmas, replicated more consistently during the year. It’s fabulous and everything seems to sell itself. Getting the people here is key, so I hope that we see more people here, as when they experience the Market, it will stay with you. It’s about bringing the Market to the next generation.