THE decision by fruit and veg boss Joe Richards to close his shop in Solihull high street is a blow to anyone who loves the old-fashioned way of buying their produce.
Fresh, beautifully displayed and at prices that undercut the big supermarkets, Joe Richards may have been a hark back to times past, but the business also showed the way forward to the borough’s popular farmers market and Mell Square’s French markets.
Buying fresh goods in the fresh air is in and it is a real shame that he’s decided to pull out, although he himself it is not because of competition.
However, it is a blow not only for the shopper but for diversity and choice in the high street too.
Unfortunately in this country the supermarket is all powerful and even regional businesses like Joe Richards has struggled against their appeal.
Against the onward march of the big four, local authorities across the UK are largely powerless, unwilling or unable to fight the encroachment of supermarkets for fear of losing any appeal against refusal to build.
The result leaves us all the poorer and them all the more powerful.
So Joe Richards, it will be sad to see your shop go from the high street. You say that you hope another greengrocer will take over - we hope so too.