2016 saw Shepherd’s Bush Market enter it’s 102nd year, with many of our traders having been here for generations we spoke to some of our longest standing to find out what’s kept them here all these years!
Meet Sylvia Fletcher of ‘Fletcher’s Fruit and Veg’. If you’ve visited the market before you’ll definitely recognise this face! Occupying the first stall at The Goldhawk Road Entrance, the Fletcher’s have nothing but the best produce on offer. Trading now for 55 years the stall was initially started by Alf Fletcher before being passed down to John Fletcher (Sylvia’s husband) and then their son John Jr – who has been working the stall since he was just 16 years old! So, what’s kept their family here all these years? ‘We know our customers so well now, we’ve been here for so long that it’s not your average trader/customer relationship, they’re our friends and family. Sometimes they show up just for a bubble rather than to actually buy anything! We love that, that’s really what keeps us going.’ says Sylvia. It’s not just the friendly banter you’ll want to pay them a visit for though “Whether he wants to or not, John Jr picks up our produce every morning, so you know it’s always fresh!”
‘Bush Hardware’ celebrates it’s 40th birthday this year, now run by Bradley Grundman the store was opened by himself and his father in 1976! Bradley was just 16 when he began working in the market and now works independently. Selling an eclectic mix of unique household goods, china and giftware they have secured returning customers from the world over! So what’s kept them here all these years? “We love our customers, they come from all over the world and we’re lucky enough to have built some great relationships with some really great people, they really are what keep us going here.” So why pay them a visit? “We’re great value for money, our products are of exceptional quality and you won’t find this on your local high street.”
The ‘Bush Bedding Centre’ is one of our longest standing businesses, having opened in 1940 they are now in their 76th year! Currently owned by Paul Bardini and his son Paul Jr, the business has been passed down through the generations starting with Paul Jr’s great grandfather! So why have they stayed all these years? “We’ve always found success here, we have many loyal customers that visit us from overseas. The business is a part of our family” Why pay them a visit? “Great products, great quality. We carry brands and stock that are sold in major department stores, but at a fraction of the price” – Shop smart people.
Celebrating it’s 44th year, we have the ‘Bush Shoe Centre’ we spoke to current owner Ranbir Sandhu to see how they got started! “My Mum and Dad started here in 1972, they started off with a shop and took on an arch 10 years later, running both themselves. I started working in the arch when I left college in 2004, Mum and Dad were ready to retire so we sold the shop, kept the arch and I’ve been here ever since!” So 44 years in, something must be keeping them here right? “I grew up here, I have so many amazing memories of my childhood tied up in this market. We have so many customers that have been shopping with us for years, they know the whole family, there’s a huge sentiment being here for us.” So why pay them a visit? “Great personal service of course! I’ve spent my whole life in this trade, so feel I can give some pretty solid advice, I’ve never had any complaints! We don’t sell just your average styles, so I’m sure you’ll find something unique here and we cater for all ages.”
Now over 50 years strong Bill Mehra’s Discount Jewellers has been a part of the family so long, they can’t even remember the exact year it opened! So, what’s their story? “The shop was previously just an open space, belonging to the shop owner residing opposite. My parents took over the space in the late 50s/early 60s and built the store, even though they aren’t here every day they’re still partners in the business. I started working here after I finished college, must’ve been about 35 years ago now!” says Bill Mehra. Seeing that they’ve been here for over half a century, what is it about Shepherd’s Bush Market that keeps them going? “We’ve found great success here, we have great customers. The majority of our customers have turned into friends and family now as have our fellow traders, there’s a great sense of community in this market.” Why should you pay them a visit? “We offer a diverse range of products which aren’t available on your local high street. Great products, exceptional customer service and a competitive price” – Well, we’re sold! Are you?
Whether you’re after a trunk or a trinket, at the market we have it all. With traders having stood this long on this ground, you’re sure to not only be met with a smile, but some trustworthy advice . So pay them a visit, and maybe tell them a thing or two you’ve learnt here – they won’t know what’s hit them!