A traditional fruit and veg shop Ginger Roots has opened its doors in Stirling’s Port Street.
The greengrocers, which sells a wide range of fresh produce and delivers vegetable boxes, is run by Mark Ritchie who is the former Head of Production at the Macrobert Arts Centre. After being made redundant last year due to the pandemic, Mark decided to embark on an exciting and completely new business venture and opened his colourful shop just before Christmas.
Based at 79 Port Street, Ginger Roots has every kind of fruit and vegetable you could ask for and if he doesn’t already stock something a customer wants, Mark is happy to source and order it.
He says: “After being made redundant I decided to do something completely different. During lockdown it became apparent there was a demand for fresh food and since Stirling didn’t already have a greengrocers shop, I decided to go for it and open my own.”
“After leaving school I trained as a chef so I know how to cook and I know something about food so this was an opportunity to give something new a go and see what the demand was.”
Mark looked at a variety of premises before finding the perfect shop at the end of October. The store used to be home to The Property Prep interior design studio and with some help from his friends in Stirling’s creative industry, Mark was able to transform it into a vibrant, welcoming greengrocers with shelves full of fresh food and a friendly atmosphere.
He runs Ginger Roots with the help of Victoria Bowles, also a former Macrobert staff member, and credits his daughter, Holly Morton, for the creative shop name.
Mark says: “I used to have ginger hair and now I’m bald and Holly said: `You have to call it Ginger Roots’ which is actually a great name for a greengrocers!”
“I thought Port Street would be a good location for the shop and the other businesses there have been very welcoming to us. I’ve also had a lot of support from Stirling’s creative community – people involved in the theatre world and those working with Creative Stirling – and it was something of a team effort to get us up and running.”
Mark aims to sources local, organic and low air-mile produce as far as possible and to reduce food waste as shoppers can pick up exactly what they need. Plastic waste is also cut as Ginger Roots uses compostable containers and paper bags for its goods and sells reusable cotton mix `Turtle’ shopping bags which fit into your pocket.
The greengrocers opened on December 18 and although business has been steady, Ginger Roots is quieter than would be expected due to the current Tier 4 restrictions. It has meant, however, that online orders and vegetable boxes have proved popular as an option for people who are isolating or prefer to have fresh food delivered.
Deliveries take place on a Thursday – or orders can be collected in store daily – and Ginger Roots has four high quality veg boxes available ranging from £12 to £23.
If they prefer, shoppers can make up their own bespoke orders and Mark also offers tasty fresh salsa recipe bags.
Mark says: “We’ve been doing a lot of deliveries and have had good feedback from our customers so far. The business is going well despite lockdown and I love being in the shop and speaking to people who pop in about what they want to buy and finding out about them and their stories.”
“I enjoy the banter and the fact I get excited about what I’m doing every day – it’s good to try something new.”
Ginger Roots is currently open from Monday to Saturday between 9am and 2.30pm.
You can check out the Facebook page – Ginger Roots | Facebook or Ginger Roots’ Instagram Profile – for more information about the produce on offer and for any adjustments to opening hours as the Covid restrictions change.