20 Apr KD Davis and Sons – Trader Top 30
Fourth generation trader Ryan talks to us about growing up in the family greengrocer business and how a fresh approach is producing higher yields.
What market or markets do you trade on?
We stand Rotherham and Doncaster Markets. We also stand farmers and food festivals throughout the summer with local strawberries.
Tell us a bit about your business and how you got into it.
I am now the fourth generation of our family business. We have grown considerably in the last 10 years. I have now been full time of 9 years, after working everyday during my summer off after my first year at college, the night before I was suppose to be going back to college to finish my A levels off, my dad offered me the job to manage my own stall, so instead of getting up at 8am to go to college, I woke up at 3am to go to the local wholesales markets. And as they say the rest is now history.
What have been the high points in working for yourself?
Managing my own stall right at the start was such a buzz, I had 2 staff to manage as well. It was such great feeling. 2 years later i opened our second stall in Doncaster Market, where I have been sited ever since. This stall is really my baby, I’m so proud how I have been able to build it up to what it is today.
And what have been the lows?
I think it must have been the 3rd or 4th week since I first started first time. We has a very quiet days trading on the Friday as it was bitterly cold. We finished up with 5 boxes of bananas left, which I thought nothing else of it and we would sell them all tomorrow. Well when I got work on Saturday morning, all the bananas had turned grey due to the cold weather, I phoned my dad and explained what happened, he very calmly said not to worry, he will get me 5 more down to my stall and just next time to wrap them up so they don’t get cold. So later in the morning the 5 boxes turned up and we had a better days trading. I got home looking forward to this weeks wages, only to find there was some missing, I raised this with my dad, who just turned around, smiled and said who do you think was going to pay for the 5 boxes of bananas. It’s very fair to say that I haven’t done that again !
Do you sell anywhere other than on your market stall?
We launched our online delivery service in 2014 and are really happy with it so far. We currently deliver to around 150 households in our local area a week and are in the test phase to roll out a national delivery. After spending a considerable amount of money on different types of packing to make sure that the produce gets to its final destination in perfect condition, we believe we have finally got it and are now sending samples up and down the country for feedback before we go live !
What marketing methods to you use to promote your business?
I manage our businesses social media pages. I try my best to post something everyday, wether it be something we have on special on the stalls or just an image of the sunrise over our fantastic market hall. Facebook has worked wonders for our business, there was a woman that walked passed our stall every morning to work in the town, we said morning to each other but she would never buy anything, one day she come to the stall and said that she had seen our posts on Facebook so thought she would give us a go, now she buys a couple of pieces of fruit in the morning to go to work with and then buys bits for her tea on the way back.
What’s the biggest tip you would give to someone who is thinking of trying their hand at market trading?
Just give it a go, you will never know until you have tried it, but I do think the attention to detail is very important. I’ve alway worked on the motto, “it’ll do, will never do”
How do you relax?
Visit other markets on my days off and see how I can make my stalls better! A bit of a busman’s holiday but I just love it.
What is the biggest lesson life has taught you?
Communicate, this has been massive for myself and our business. Talking with customers, supplies and just the general public. we have really got in our heads what we want to do but then when you start talking to other people about it, it changes your way of thinking for the better, and then before you know it, that amazing idea that you had has just grown five-fold.
To find out more about K.D.Davis & Sons (The Greengrocers) Ltd, to contact Ryan or order online, go to: