In Tollesbury we are very lucky in that we actually have a good selection of shops. Especially in these days where villages are losing all their amenities. Perhaps it is because they are used by the locals because you can get most of what you want in the village. We have a Post Office/newsagents, general store, bakery (with the oldest bread oven in England), butchers, fruit and veg van, petrol station/garage, fish and chip van, tearoom, cafe, restaurant, a takeaway that delivers(more about that another time) chandlers and that's not to mention the various drinking places and the art shop. If you are a local and known, you don't actually need money to shop as most places will give you an account. This was such a help when I was a single mother and flat broke, at least I knew the kids would be fed until my next university grant.
I love the fruit and veg van, it doesn't matter what I buy, the bag full always comes to £6.24, I'm sure he makes it up as he goes along. We have a rapport as my Grandad was a greengrocer. When I was little, grandad and I used to get up at 3 am and go to Stratford Market to get the stock for the shop, it was such an adventure. If Derry (the fruit and veg man) has veg that is passed it's best, he knows that I am quite happy to cook it up and freeze it or preserve it or pickle it. Therefore he quite often puts this in my bag 'just to save him taking it home'! In return I give him things that he cannot buy at Stratford Market, such as Jerusalem Artichokes.
I hope that we keep our existing shops as several other shops such as the hardware store, the fish and knickers shop, another newsagents, the delicatessen, the electrical shop, the clothes shop and a convenience store have all closed down in the last twenty years and it would be a shame if anymore went.
Oh and looking at the pictures, Fred doesn't own Fred's stores anymore. The owner before the present one changed the name and there was a national (well local) outcry, so the new owner changed it back. The rioting in the streets stopped and harmony has been restored!!!