'Re-energised' Ipswich shopping parades helps family firm expand
- Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND
Ipswich shoppers have "re-energised" shopping parades, pushing a family business to expand.
Steve Kay of Kay's Fruit, Veg and Florist works 100 hours a week between his Nacton Road, and Meredith Road shops, but is not stopping there.
His new store at Hawthorn Drive opened on Wednesday as his business has boomed during the coronavirus pandemic.
Mr Kay said: "We have been at Nacton Road for over 25 years.
"I have seen children grow up and we have really become part of the community.
"Local shops did so well out of the pandemic as people discovered us again.
"People came often to us as they felt it was safer than supermarkets.
- 1 Ipswich man jailed for 25 years after teen left paralysed in shooting
- 2 Armed police arrest two 16-year-olds on suspicion of firearms offences
- 3 Kesgrave family move home to cope with 'crippling' cost of living
- 4 Devastated family wrongly told prisoner hanged himself weeks before release
- 5 'Depraved' Felixstowe man jailed for child sex offences
- 6 10,000 listeners tune in to new Suffolk radio station
- 7 'It's very frustrating': Anger as £150 stolen from charity shop in Felixstowe
- 8 Ipswich cannabis dealer avoids immediate jail sentence
- 9 Weather warning in place for Suffolk as temperatures plunge below freezing
- 10 Serious fire breaks out at home in Woodbridge
"It's really re-energised our business."
He estimates over this time his customers went up 30%.
And this experience allowed him to open his latest store, which will be run with help from his son Oliver Kay, son-in-law Arron Fairley, and other family members.
"I need to keep my family in a standard of life as well," he added. "The two of them are old enough to do it together.
"It's time for them and they are good enough and able enough.
"Chantry came up and it really appealed to us as a smaller shopping parade."
But Mr Kay said at 57, he would not be retiring any time soon.
He added: "My wife would rather I retired. The business will eventually be taken over more and more by my family."
The 57-year-old did not know whether he would open another shop or not.
Mr Kay said: "It's hugely rewarding to take on another fruit and veg shop.
"We would want to appeal to more people and it's a massive challenge to fit this in and create new places like Hawthorn Drive."
Kay's Fruit, Veg and Florist shops locally during the summer months for a lot of its fresh food.
During the winter and summer, the family also goes every day to Spitalfields Market in London to pick up supplies.
The new shop is at 285 Hawthorn Dr, Chantry, Ipswich IP2 0QG.