229 - Dig In

Picture This popular greengrocer opened in September 2010 and at the time of writing is run by Alex Thompson and Chloe Lester. Their aim is to offer tasty quality local grown produce wherever possible.

Alex Thompson writes: "I always have a sense of pride when people ask me what my job is and I respond 'a greengrocer'. Now, it's not necessarily what I thought I would grow up to be, and it definitely isn't glamorous. But, it's a good ol' honest job, and perhaps, the first job in my life I completely enjoy... (well, except in the depths of winter when I can't feel my nose anymore!)

Picture The shop we are currently in has been a greengrocers and a part of Church Road for over 30 years and in September 2010 we took on the baton to provide the local residents with their greens. Dig In is our first shop and business. Before we opened Chloe had been working as a youth worker and a learning mentor in a school and I had been a carpenter. We had spent many an hour dreaming about owning our own business but never knew what exactly it would be. When Stella's closed its doors the opportunity we didn't know we had been waiting for raised its head, and with a little bit of encouragement from Chloe's sister we decided to jump feet first into the world of fruit and veg!

Picture We looked into opening a business and set about making a proper business plan which was a great framework to help us know what work we needed to do. We collected information and put it into our plan, we wrote down ideas that we wanted to achieve or do with the shop and went from there. We phoned around and found out who the current lease holder was and started negotiating with them to let us take the shop on. It was bit of whirlwind with the whole process only taking about four to six months. When we were told we had the shop it was great, daunting but great.

Using my carpentry skills I set to work creating the interior of the shop whilst Chloe continued to work, helping in the evenings and weekends with friends helping when they could. After all the painting, sawing and cleaning we were nearly ready to go. When we finally received the final copy of our logo it felt like we were ready to let the public in!

The night before we opened we were up into the early hours of the morning, polishing onions and fluffing cabbages ready for our big day - by the time the doors opened we were pretty much in a sleepy haze and to be honest are yet to catch up with ourselves! On Saturday 26th September 2010 Dig In became a part of Church Road.


The first couple of months were probably the most gruelling. It was just the two of us, we weren't as busy as we are now but we wouldn't often get home until gone 21.00. That was just over three years ago now, and we have learned a lot in that time! We have grown fast and still have a lot we wish to do with the place.

Picture Since opening the shop, many of the customers who came in on our first day are still with us. We have had an amazing amount of support from local residents who have made us feel very much a part of the vibrant and diverse community that exists in and around the high street and appreciate that they choose to shop with us, rather than with anyone else.

Hopefully our shop will be remembered in years to come, even if we no longer run it. We have a customer who used to work in the shop when it was owned by Rogers and Harris (I believe three owners before us) it would be nice to think there will still be a greengrocers in Redfield in 30 years time and for someone to say I used to work in here when it was Dig In!"

Sadly, although popular and selling good quality produce, Dig In closed in 2016.

<-- Previous Page       Next Page -->