A LONG-TIME market trader has become the first to extend his trading days in Salisbury after three years of negotiations with the council.

The Happy Fruiters was authorised to set up a stall in Market Place every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday for the first time on May 8.

It had been a long time coming for business owner Carl Doran, who has been a market trader on and off since the age of 12.

Mr Doran, now in his 50s, inherited the fresh fruit and veg business from his father 15 years ago and has been trading at the Salisbury Charter Market since.

He had been trying to convince Salisbury City Council to allow him a semi-permanent stand in Market Square for the past three years.

“I have always said Salisbury has needed a fruit stand on non-market days," he said.

"Some people are against it because of the Charter but the feedback on the last two days has been great. It proves a point that not everybody likes supermarket fruit and veg."

Salisbury Journal: There's been a lot of demand for the Happy Fruiters.There's been a lot of demand for the Happy Fruiters. (Image: Paul Sample)

The Happy Fruiters’ first two non-market days saw incredible success as the stall near enough sold out on both days.

Mr Doran added: “Thank you to Salisbury City Council for finally seeing my vision that it was something Salisbury was crying out for.

"Not everybody comes to town on market days, people like to come when it’s less busy.”

He hopes more traders will be able to take advantage of non-market days to bring more life into Market Place.

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While he would love to set up a city fruit shop in one of Salisbury’s many empty units, Mr Doran said the rates and rent make it “impossible” to do so. However, he’s happy to pay the “reasonable” market fees.

Most of the Happy Fruiter’s customers are of an older generation as more younger people rely on supermarkets but Mr Doran feels as though the giants have “lost their way”.

He said: “A lot of the traders are old-school where you get the personal touch. Supermarkets have taken away the personal touch by bringing in self service which half the time don’t work.”

Salisbury Journal: The Happy Fruiters can be found in Market Place five days a week.The Happy Fruiters can be found in Market Place five days a week. (Image: Paul Sample)

Where fruit may sometimes take days to reach a supermarket as it is distributed from suppliers to warehouses, the Happy Fruiters collect a day’s fresh produce as soon as it arrived in Southampton or Bristol around 3am.

The selection available to traders has changed slightly due to several world factors, namely leaving the EU.

This has made it difficult to source oranges, lemons and peaches which Mr Doran said often end up in Russia which charges “double the amount for it”.

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Mr Doran’s multi-cultural customer base has diversified significantly and he’s now stocking a lot more Asian produce.

Happy Fruiters will be trading in Market Square from 8am until 4pm every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

The council has agreed to keep the stall going on these days until October when its viability will be reconsidered for the winter months.