Page 21 - MarketTimesAugust2016
P. 21

  Market Times • August 2016
head of Doncaster NMTF Group, said the market was rapidly winning a reputation for the finest fresh food and produce.
And he is spearheading efforts to promote the market as a fine food destination, at the same time as expanding his own family’s business as a national operation.
K D Davis and Sons was started by Ryan’s great-grandfather, Edwin Sunny Davis, who sold vegetables from a barrow in Clifton Park, Rotherham, during the war.
Family legend has it that during an air raid a bomb landed right in front of Edwin’s barrow, but failed to detonate.
Ryan said: “None of us, or the business, would have been here if it had gone off.”
Fortunately the family has thrived and Ryan’s parents run fruit and veg stalls in Rotherham, while Ryan and his younger brother Matthew, 23, look after a couple of large stalls on Doncaster’s outdoor market.
“I have been helping out on the market stall since I was a young child. We have a photo of me asleep on a sack of potatoes,” he said.
Ryan got good A levels and considered studying to become an accountant, but the pull of market trading proved too strong.
“There’s nothing better,” he said. “I am serving people who remember me as a child. There aren’t many jobs where customers will give you a kiss on the cheek because they are so pleased to see you. I just love the banter with the customers and the market life.”
Ryan and Matthew take huge pride in their market business. “For me it is always quality first and price next,” he said. “And I try to source products as local as possible when I can.”
A customer entered Ryan’s business in the best greengrocer category of the Farm Shop and Deli Show at Birmingham’s NEC.
Fifty per cent was down to online voting which involved customers leaving comments on why they wanted K D Davis to win. The rest was down to a mystery shopper who was impressed by the quality of Ryan’s offer and the friendly service.
Ryan and Matthew are now launching a national online service using Parcelforce and they are looking into franchising if the enterprise goes well.
Meanwhile Ryan is making a difference within the NMTF Doncaster Group.
“We have managed to get a good turnout of traders at our first meeting with the council which went really well. They could see the passion various traders have and I feel they will see things more from our point of view if we can get this passion across,” Ryan said.
They have already had one early success. A proposed rent rise of 3.2 per cent was reduced to 0.8 per cent after the branch put their case for a reduced rise — with help from the NMTF team at head office. In addition the town’s elected Mayor supported a 10 per cent short- term rent reduction from June to August.
“I am feeling optimistic that we can work together to improve the market and one priority is to sell the market as a destination for foodies,” Ryan said.
Martin Wilkinson is pictured at Angus Butchers , which won a national award for its sausages and streaky bacon
   Phil Armstrong and Carol Plane are pictured on their butchers stall Plane and Armstrong. The team won a national gold award for their black pudding

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