Fruit and veg seller calls it a day after 30 years
A long-time fruit and vegetable seller is the latest casualty of Bermudas 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 Roberts 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 lifes work.
The economy is just that bad, said Mr Sousa. People just dont 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 uncles 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 wasnt 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.
Its 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 lifes 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 didnt 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call him on 533-3166.
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