Fruit and veg seller calls it a day after 30 years

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  • Robert Sousa: Selling fruit and vegetables as he has done for almost 30 years

    Robert Sousa: Selling fruit and vegetables as he has done for almost 30 years

  • Robert Sousa: Selling fruit and vegetables as he has done for almost 30 years

    Robert Sousa: Selling fruit and vegetables as he has done for almost 30 years

  • Robert Sousa: His truck has been a familiar sight around the Island

    Robert Sousa: His truck has been a familiar sight around the Island


A long-time fruit and vegetable seller is the latest casualty of Bermuda’s flagging economy.

For close to 30 years, Robert Sousa has been a mobile fruit and vegetable seller, travelling the Island selling to customers from the back of his custom-outfitted truck.

Operating under the name Robert’s Fruit and Veg Service, Mr Sousa stopped at individual homes all over the Island and at businesses in Hamilton. Customers, many of them elderly, could call him and place their orders and he would deliver the goods to their house.

Last Friday was his final week of work before shutting down the business that was his life’s work.

“The economy is just that bad,” said Mr Sousa. “People just don’t have the money, the prices of food have gone up dramatically and the expats have left — that has all added to the problem.”

From the age of 15, he worked part-time on his uncle’s vegetable cart and after finishing high school at 18, he took over the business building it up to a steady trade.

It has always been a one-man operation for Mr Sousa, selling his wares on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday — working 12-hour days, rain or shine. On his off days, he devoted to collecting produce from farmers and wholesalers both locally and imported.

While Mr Sousa said he still had a loyal client base, it wasn’t enough to cover the costs of buying the produce and maintaining the truck. He tried to make it work — in fact, since May, he stopped taking a salary.

“It’s scary out there — when will it all turn around? No one knows,” he said.

Mr Sousa would like for someone to take over the business and has his truck listed on eMoo but, so far, no one has contacted him yet.

Though he has had to give up his life’s work, Mr Sousa was able to find a full-time job as a salesperson, which he said allows him to spend more time with his family, including a grandchild. He is also part of the Bermuda Police Reserve.

“I didn’t think this would ever happen but it did,” he said.

Anyone inquiring about taking over the business or purchasing the truck should e-mail Mr Sousa at rtsousa@logic.bm or call him on 533-3166.

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Published Nov 1, 2012 at 8:00 am (Updated Oct 31, 2012 at 7:45 pm)

Fruit and veg seller calls it a day after 30 years

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