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National success for young market trader

Greengrocer Rob Leicester, who runs the Warrington Fruit & Veg Stall at Warrington Market, has been named Young Market Trader of the Year by the National Market Traders' Federation.

The 19-year-old scooped the prize after being selected as the overall best trader at the National Youth Market, which was held over two days in Stratford-upon-Avon.

Thirty young entrepreneurs, aged between 16 and 30, from across the country set up shop on the street market after qualifying through regional heats earlier this year.

Rob set up his greengrocery business at Warrington Market in June last year having spotted a niche opportunity to supply fresh produce.

The news came as Warrington Market celebrated one year in its current temporary home, the first structural steelwork, lift shafts for the new permanent market hall began to emerge from the ground and statistics indicate that footfall at the market was on the increase.

Greengrocer Rob, from Latchford, Warrington, said: “Judges posed as mystery shoppers at the market and contestants were marked on presentation, stock, knowledge and customer service skills.

"It was quite a competition - there were some really good young traders there from all around the country."

Rob is carrying on the family tradition of running award winning businesses, his father and cousin - both called Andrew - run the neighbouring Andrew's Fish Game and Poultry stall. In 2010, the latter was named the BBC's Young Fishmonger of the Year.

Joe Harrison, chief executive of the National Market Traders' Federation, said: "It was a tough competition, but Robert beat traders from across the country to take the crown.

“Judges were impressed with his professionalism, enthusiasm and customer service skills. With young people like Robert trading on traditional retail markets, I am confident that our sector will not only survive but flourish. He is an inspiration to people who want to turn passion into a profit and be their own boss."

 Pictured: Greengrocer Rob Leicester is the Young Market Trader of the Year

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