John Williamson gets his five a day. In fact he often gets in excess of seven a day! But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t enjoy a nice pudding now and again.
John “Tubbs” Williamson (ah, that’ll be those puddings!) is a fruit and veg maestro. And so he should be – fruit and veg has been his bread and butter for a huge part of his life.
He is a regular Wednesday and Saturday feature on his fruit and veg stall on the corner of Boston Market opposite Marks and Spencer and has been for the past 20 years.
Sundays are sacred, but fruit and veg is his six days a week occupation, also attending markets in Leicestershire and Alford.
He marked his 20 years in Boston in February, but has actually been on markets since he was just six years old, initially helping out on his father’s fishmonger’s stall in Leicestershire.
He then learned his trade in wholesale fruit and veg before setting off on his own in a van in 1987 and has not stopped smiling since.
For sale is seasonal fruit and veg, locally sourced whenever possible, and exotics from all over the world to customers new and old. He sells Nature’s good health – all the experts agree.
His regulars come to him for a friendly face, a chat, advice, fresh, quality produce and as many or as few as they want.
“Nothing is pre-packed, so if they just want a single apple or an orange they can have them. I appreciate that some customers, they might be elderly and on their own, don’t want a great big pre-packed bag of apples so they can eat two and watch the rest go bad in the fruit bowl. These are things you cannot get in the supermarket.”
John’s loyal staff are equally friendly and knowledgeable, and long lasting – Lisa has worked with him for 23 years and Margaret, who is from Boston, 16 years.
“Boston is holding up compared with other markets. I hate the bad press that Boston gets and talk about decline in retail. Yes, it can be a challenge but I love it here and love my job.”
Coming up for Easter: The first new potatoes from Majorca, followed by spuds from Cornwall and then, everyone’s favourite, “Boston New Tates”. Lovely.