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How to become a Greengrocer

greengrocer careers

What does a Greengrocer do?

Greengrocers own, run or manage shops that sell fruit and vegetables and sometimes other produce, such as fresh flowers or fish. The greengrocer's shop could be: part of a large supermarket; a market stall (see Market Trader profile); part of a franchise chain (see Self Employment Franchisee profile); or an independently owned and run establishment.

Most of the working day is spent serving customers, weighing and wrapping goods, and handling payments, but greengrocers also buy stock at wholesale fruit and vegetable markets.

Greengrocers who run their own business need to deal with the administrative and financial aspects of the business, such as totalling and banking takings at the end of each day, stocktaking and ordering goods, invoicing large customers such as hotels, keeping records for tax purposes and paying staff.

Recruiting and training new staff will also be part of the job for business owners.

What's the working environment like working as a Greengrocer?

Greengrocers often work long hours, a 50 hour week is not uncommon. Basic shop hours are usually from 9am to 5pm Monday to Saturday, but some businesses may also have a late night and/or Sunday opening. It may be necessary to be up as early as 2am to travel to wholesale markets to buy stock.

Greengrocers mainly work indoors, and the job may involve a lot of lifting and carrying of stock.

A driving licence and van for picking up and delivering goods are usually necessary.

What does it take to become a Greengrocer?

To be a greengrocer you should:

  • enjoy dealing with people - both customers and staff
  • be able to handle early starts and long days
  • be able to handle cash and deal with accounts
  • be well organised and methodical, able to keep clear records of business transactions
  • have a working knowledge of metric weights.

Greengrocer Career Opportunities

There are greengrocers’ shops in villages, towns and cities throughout the UK.

Most greengrocers are self-employed, with their own premises, but there may be opportunities to manage a shop or produce department for a supermarket chain or other fresh food department. Greengrocers can also run market stalls (see Market Trader profile) or a shop which is part of a franchise (see Self Employment Franchisee profile).

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Greengrocer that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

Skillsmart Retail
40 Duke Street
Tel: 0800 093 5001

Support Training Limited
222-224 Queensferry Road
Federation House
Tel: 0131 343 3300

Wholesale and Retail Training Council (WRTC)
10 Hydepark Road
Northern Ireland
BT36 4PY
Tel: 028 9084 5830

Business Link
Tel: 0845 600 9006

Scottish Enterprise
5 Atlantic Quay
150 Broomielaw
G2 8LU
Tel: 0845 607 8787

Facts and Stats:

  • Napoleon Bonaparte once called England a "nation of shopkeepers".

  • Consumer expenditure per head in the UK is £8,053.

  • The phrase "The customer is always right", was coined by H Gordon Selfridge.

  • The annual sales of digestive biscuits, if stacked on top of each other, would reach 275 miles high That's 4,500 times the height of Nelson's Column or 1,400 times the height of the Eiffel Tower.

  • Britain's first department store was Selfridges, which was opened in 1909.

Courses to help you become a Greengrocer