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Fruit And Veg Shop Blooms Into Life

Fresh fruit and veg is now on sale in a deprived inner-city area of Coventry after a couple’s dream turned into a Valentine’s Day reality.

Lashman Singh with Yvonne Denny

Former greengrocer, shop assistant and cook Yvonne Denny, aged 63, and her husband David, aged 64, saw a need for cheap fresh produce to be available in Hillfields.

They received specialist advice from Coventry and Warwickshire’s Chamber and were able to turn a single piece of paper into a full 60 page business plan.

Enterprise Link Hillfields Business Start-Up adviser Lashman Singh helped Yvonne and David draw together their ideas.

Their new shop - Hillfields Village Fruit & Veg – opened in the heart of the area on 14 February and has attracted a lot of interest.

Lashman said the opening of the new business was an important step in terms of re-generating the area.

He said of Yvonne and David:

“They had a viable retail idea, but were unable to translate it into documentation form that would impress bank managers or funding agencies, which is were I came in.

“Together we worked on the production of market research to gauge the interest levels for a fruit and veg shop in Hillfields, placing surveys in a variety of nearby locations, and found the feedback to be extremely positive.

“Self-employment is not a soft option, but once Single Regeneration Budget match funding was secured, Mrs Denny decided to turn their idea into reality.”

Yvonne, who moved to Hillfields three years ago, said:

”David and I were sick and tired of working for everyone else, so with my retail experience and our combined determination we decided to do it ourselves.

“I saw a gap in the market to supply a wide range of fresh and healthy produce locally in Hillfields, so that people, especially the elderly and disabled, would not have to travel into the city centre in order to make their fruit and veg purchases.

”We are extremely grateful for Lashman’s help, as we would have been unable to turn our idea into a realty without his patience and advice.”
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CWN / Business / The Chamber / 8 Mar 01

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