Robert had no intentions to follow his dad into Warrington Market and he had certainly never considered self-employment, but a chance opportunity came along and it was just the thing to change his mind.
Rob’s dad is a fishmonger on Warrington Market and his cousin, Andrew, won Young Fishmonger of the Year in 2010. With markets running through the Leicester family veins you would think Rob would want to follow the trend. His intentions however, had always been to join the Army and he had already taken the first steps. So, what changed his mind?
“I’ve worked on the markets since I was 14, helping my dad on his stall but I never intended to stay there.
“I had begun my first steps to joining the army when a fruit and veg trader left Warrington Market and my dad took over. He needed a helping hand, so I started working for him – I just really enjoyed it and so I took over the business - I’ve been running Warrington Fruit and Veg for just over a year now."
At just 19, Rob is the only one of his friends who runs his own business. Whilst they’re still in bed, he is up at 4am getting his stock from the wholesalers, ready for a day of selling to the people of Warrington. Life as a Fruit and Veg trader is not easy, it’s early hours and long days, but the rewards of the business are clear to Rob.
“None of my other friends are self-employed so it’s strange talking to them about my job. It can be a little difficult when they want to go out because I know I must be up early.
“My days are different from theirs, but market trading has really gotten to me and I can’t see myself doing anything else.
“Though it can be hard I would definitely recommend it as a career path. If I had any advice for someone looking to start their own business I’d just say go for it. Its worth a try and you won’t know unless you try! Whatever you achieve in life you achieve it for yourself.”
Setting up on the Waterfront was a different experience for him – the area and customer base unlike what he is used to. However, he brought his business, set out his stall and took away the crown as he was awarded Young Trader of the Year.
The judges were incredibly impressed with Rob’s confidence, attitude and professionalism. He did not change his whole business just because he was somewhere new, he stuck with what he knew and he managed to pull in the punters. It seems winning awards is another trait being passed on in the Leicester Family!
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Mission For Markets is a campaign run jointly by NABMA and NMTF