Mayor of Whittlesey cuts ribbon to open Alice’s Fruit Sales

MAYOR of Whittlesey Councillor Derek Stebbing cut the ribbon and officially opened the newly refurbished shop which Neil Watson was locked out of three years ago.

Loyal customers flocked to Alice’s Fruit Sales on Wednesday morning and were queuing up outside the High Causeway shop ready to buy from the wide selection of top quality fruit and vegetables.

For Neil the occasion brought with it many mixed emotions after his battle over the lease which resulted in him taking legal proceedings and trading from other less suitable premises in the town.

“It is absolutely fantastic to be back but it has been hell and I have many mixed feelings over what has happened. We just want to move on and hope people will continue to support us in he way they have during the past three years, they have been very good and the staff have worked really hard.”

Cllr Stebbing was full of admiration for Neil and the fact that he never gave up the fight to get back into his original premises.

He said: “I think it is brilliant and it is also good for Whittlesey. It has been a long fight for him and the council has been behind him all the way. We are over the moon with the way it has turned out for him.”

Neil was locked out of the premises when Kwik Save shut up shop in 2007 and despite having a valid lease he was denied entry to the building. However, what people did not bargain for was his determination and the loyalty of customers.

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The things which have continued to draw the customers in are friendly service, the quality produce and the high percentage of English produce, much of it grown in the Fens.

He said: “The difference between us and the supermarkets is their stuff has travelled around the country for a week before it even gets on the shelves.”