The Kerry family have been running a fruit and veg business for over 100 years and still going strong today.
Kerry’s Fresh - formerly Kerry's Fruit & Veg - are an established business on a number of markets in and around the Nottingham area including Clifton, Bingham and Loughborough Market as well as working on university campuses.
NMTF member, Dean Kerry, has been market trading since 1988 and in 1990 he took over the business, carrying on his family’s legacy.
Even though the business has been around for such a long time, it is clear that Dean and Gillian aren’t the types to just sit back and let the times move along without them.
“We use promotional platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat to promote the business and around 18 – 24 months ago we began taking card payments. Primarily at the universities for the students but now we take card payments at all our sites.
“Taking card payments has definitely helped in maintaining takings. Card payments have gone from 5% of takings to 25% in the last 12 months! I think taking card payment is essential for any trader these days if you don't want to miss sales. It has become very easy and low cost.”
New technologies are gaining weight in the retail industry with more and more small businesses taking advantage of social media and taking payments in different ways such as through e-commerce platforms or through chip and pin machines. These platforms are readily available for market traders to help compete with the larger retailers and provide the public with choice.
Along with social media, and the market business, Kerry’s Fresh have expanded into online trading.
“Businesses have to move with trends and our move online was the next natural step in the evolution of a 131-year-old company. Now more than ever, convenience is key for busy consumers.
“We have a respected name in Nottingham and a reputation for high-quality produce and customer service, so felt that there was an opportunity for us to meet the shopping needs of a different clientele to that which visits our stalls.
“There have been differences which have been challenging, but no new venture comes without its challenges. We have to source a much greater variety and volume of produce to cater for the demand of online deliveries.”
Through this expansion, Kerry’s Fresh have been able to reach customers who would not normally visit the market as well as making their business more accessible for regular market shoppers.
“We have gained hundreds of new customers and we are confident our reach will continue to grow. Many who knew our name from the markets have switched to online shopping for greater convenience.
“Some of our loyal customers will continue to be regulars at our stalls. That is how they prefer to do their shopping and that is why we are working hard to ensure that side of the business continues to thrive.
"Our knowledge of fruit & veg will be unmatched by any of our rivals due to our 131 years in the trade. We can offer both affordability and quality whilst providing consumers with produce from the most-celebrated local suppliers of bread, dairy, coffee etc.
“We think that most people would prefer to shop local; support local businesses and try local produce, but it isn’t always convenient. Our delivery service changes that.”
Kerry’s Fresh currently do their own deliveries, providing fruit and veg to the Nottingham and Loughborough areas – with plans to expand even this over time but still maintain a local feel, there’s no telling how far Kerry’s Fresh could go!
As a long standing market trader Dean is able to share some advice for new start-ups looking to run their own business:
“In my opinion, markets are a great place to trade for entrepreneurs and start-up businesses. They teach you a great number of skills quickly in how to run a business all of which are transferable to other lines of work and they enable you to progress further.
“My advice to any new start-up business would be believe in yourself and your product, look professional to stand out from the crowd, always be open to change and never be afraid of change. Enjoy your work and be willing to put 100% effort in 100%of the time.
"If you are looking to expand to an online presence, be aware of your competition and decide how you can be different. You need to be adaptable and you also need to be patient.
“Success is not calculated by loss/profit at the end of one day, as it might be on the markets. Websites are long-term investments and require lots of hard work.”
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Mission For Markets is a campaign run jointly by NABMA and NMTF