A NEW mid-week market began in Grantham this week when Steve Cooley opened his new fruit and veg stall on Tuesday.
It is hoped Mr Cooley’s stall will be the first of five weekday pitches to be set up in the new-look Market Place over the coming weeks.
And nobody will be happier to see more stalls set up than Steve and his daughter Roberta.
He said: “It will definitely help when other traders are here - I feel a little like General Custer at the moment but there should be more coming soon.
“When other stalls get here it will take off, I’m sure.
“Everybody that’s been here this week has said ‘this is what we need, especially in this part of the town’.”
Mr Cooley opened his stall for the first time on Tuesday. It will be open from Tuesday until Friday from 7am until 4pm.
South Kesteven District Council hopes to get four more stalls up and running, although they must not be in competition with other Market Place businesses.
Mr Cooley said: “I saw they were advertising for traders for the market square so I thought I’d give it a try.
“I think it’s the way forward and it will help everyone.
“We just need to draw people down to this end of the town a bit. If there are five stalls down here then it probably will and it will be good for all of the businesses here.
“I have a feeling it will but it might just need a bit of time.”
Mr Cooley has been involved in market trading since he was a boy. He now runs his stall with help from his daughter Roberta.
He said: “I’ve been doing this since I was 12. I used to be down the market unloading the vans and things like that.
“My dad died when I was 11 so my mum sent me off to work. I was always down the markets and I’ve been doing it ever since.”
Coun Frances Cartwright said: “Fruit and vegetables are a major reason why people visit a market so to have a stall on this extremely accessible area of town should be popular and attract people. I really hope that once other traders see this first trader they will follow suit.”