A GREENGROCER has opened a new store serving the public from a former delicatessen in Oxford’s Botley Road.

Peter Durham has taken over the former Eggs Etcetera premises so he is in the best position to serve customers during the coronavirus crisis.

While queues of customers build up at Waitrose on the opposite side of the road, Mr Durham’s new shop provides a quick and easy alternative for people simply wanting fruit and veg.

While some small businesses including a large number of shops, have been forced to shut temporarily during the government lockdown designed to stop the spread of the virus, Mr Durham is bucking the trend by opening his new outlet.

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He said on his company website: “I am Peter Durham, a fourth generation greengrocer; my family having traded in and around the Oxford area since 1882.

“In response to government guidance I am changing my business approach for the foreseeable future.

Oxford Mail:

“I will now trade from 67 Botley Road - the former Eggs Etcetera premises, opposite Waitrose.

“I will continue my nightly runs to Covent Garden to guarantee the very best fruit and vegetable produce, and a great line in dairy products.

“I am also offering a local delivery service of pre-packed boxes described below. This is to OX1, OX2, OX3 and OX4 postcodes.

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I was born in this community and have lived here all my life. I look forward to serving it during these difficult times.”

Mr Durham said he and his staff operated with the same ethos put in place by his family, ‘quality, service and value for money’.

He added: “Our knowledge base is extensive and we are happy to advise where necessary and are always willing to listen as demand for more unusual foodstuffs from around the world increases daily!

“I always procure my produce as directly as possible; Dutch and Continental produce comes from Rotterdam and the finest French produce from Rungis in Paris.

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“Local growers are used where possible and nightly visits to Covent Garden Market, England’s premier market, are undertaken by myself to ensure quality control.

“My main criteria when purchasing are quality and taste and I will procure your requirements to your own specification.”

Oxford Mail:

Mr Durham takes orders until 11 pm daily, (Sunday-Friday) for delivery the following day, usually before 10 am.

He also accepts additions to orders up until the moment the van leaves and added he tries to make second deliveries when needed.

Greengrocers are working hard to keep the public supplied with fresh fruit and vegetables during the lockdown period.

The Covered Market has now closed to members of the public but Bonners fruit and veg stall is delivering to customers for a small charge.

Staff at the market stall are also coordinating deliveries for other food producers in the market including Pershore Seafoods and Feller’s butchers.