Charles Fredric Stear Greengrocers celebrates half century in Surbiton with 1960s prices
A trader celebrated half a century serving customers in Surbiton by rolling back fruit and veg prices to 1960s prices.
Charlie Stear, 89, started Charles Fredric Stear Greengrocers, in Surbiton Hill Road with his wife Amy, 85, in 1962, and has since handed down the family business to his son Martin.
The shop did a "roaring trade" as customer snapped up bargains with produce such as potatoes, carrots and cabbage all costing just a penny- the same price as 50 years ago.
There was also a visit from Kingston mayor Mary Heathcote, and Kingston and Surbiton MP Edward Davey, who chatted with Mr and Mrs Stear before snapping up some cut price potatoes.
Martin Stear, 55, said the day, which took place on November 3, attracted hundreds of customer, some who have been buying from the shop for 40 years.
He said: "It was a fantastic day. There were balloons for kids. It was more like a party atmosphere than a normal trading day.
"We had a couple of special guest come along which was fantastic.
"The customers loved the 1962 prices on some of the fruit and we did a roaring days trade."
Martin said the trick to 50 years in his business, which also employs his sister Wendy Catchpole and nephew Steward Catchpole, was always to greet customers with a smile.
He said: "It is no big secret. You just remember your customers and what they usually buy.
"Be friendly to them and that creates an atmosphere where people like to shop."
"We have been serving the same people for years so we must be doing something right.
"I think the shop can go on for another 50 years, I hope so, though I am not sure I will be here to see it!"