Author of " Every Way of Earning a Living" " Our Sons and Daughters," etc.

Attractive Appearance of a Fruiterer's Stock - Experience Necessary - Selection of a Shop - Competition to be Met With - Arrangement of Stock - Buying Fruits in Season - How the Various

Fruits are Sold

The very appearance of a fruiterer's establishment, if it be well kept, is attractive; the rosy, clear-skinned apple, the golden orange, the quaint banana stalk of rich canary yellow tipped with green, the delicate grape with its cloudy bloom, and a dozen other luscious fruits of all shades, brilliant colours and sizes make up a show that is good to see, that imparts the idea of an attractive business in which to be engaged.

It is one thing, however, to admire an establishment as already conducted by someone else, and another thing to conduct such an establishment oneself. As we have seen already, there are many questions to be asked before deciding to open a shop, no matter what the trade, and certainly the considerations to be borne in mind when contemplating a fruiterer's business are not less than in any of the others.

In the first place, the question of ex-perience must not be put lightly aside. Really, in this trade, at least some actual experience is necessary. How shall that experience be obtained? Well, much depends upon the circumstances. A young girl of fifteen, whose aim later in life is to start in this trade, could with little difficulty get a job as shop assistant in a, fruiterer's establishment, where, whilst getting a small wage, she would be learning the ins and outs of the business, so that in a few years she would be quite competent.

But then, of course, there is the case of a woman who for some reason or another does not know that she wants to start in this trade until her age would make it difficult for her to get a post where she could gain experience. Such a woman may pick up a lot of information, if she be of the right temperament, by making judicious inquiry, and she may buy an established business where the former proprietor will for the first few months give her all the information and assistance that is necessary. In fact, each woman wishing to start in this business will make ways and means of getting information; but this cannot be too often repeated - her chances of success are greater for some practical experience. It may look easy to sell apples, for example, but much knowledge is wanted before one may know where and how to buy them.

Selecting: a Shop

Supposing, then, the young woman who is embarking on a shopkeeping career as a fruiterer has gained from one source or another some knowledge of the trade and is prepared with, say, capital.

The first task before her is to find a suitable shop, which must, in addition to being suitable in itself, be in a neighbourhood where a fruiterer's is likely to succeed. If she choose a middle-class suburban district she must take into account the various forms of competition to which she will be subjected. Her greatest trouble - a form of competition which she cannot really fight against - will be the street hawker whose: shop is his barrow, from which he will sell fruit at a price with which the shopkeeper can scarcely hope to compete.

Then there will be the competition of grocers and greengrocers, the former, nowadays, in addition to selling dried fruits, stocking fresh apples, oranges, figs, and so forth.

So far as possible a shop must be selected where the force of such competition will be felt as little as possible. The shop-front - a window is not desirable - should be spacious and fitted with a sloping, divided tray upon which fruit must be displayed. Ten pounds should be sufficient to fit out a shop with all necessary shelving, and the new shopkeeper should secure the right to display goods on the pavement outside.

According to the district selected, the young fruiterer may combine flower-selling (see article, page 2052) or greengrocery (see later article), but for the moment we will assume that her prospects are such that she will be able to make a living from fruit alone, and that she proposes to try conclusions with fortune in the one branch only.

With a rental of 60 (rates included) for the shop, a boy to sweep up, take goods out and so on, at five to seven shillings, her expenses will not be heavy, and if she has chosen her district well, she should have no difficulty in turning her venture into a success.

Buying Stock

The first stock, that with which she will open her store, is a matter of the greatest importance, for, when set out, her display must succeed in attracting those she would make her clients. The stock will vary according to the neighbourhood, and a great deal of her future success will depend upon her seeing what the people require. But before we set down here some of the leading lines which she will need to purchase, we have to decide the question - who shall go to market ?

Covent Garden will be the market for the London suburban fruiterer, and our shop-keeper will have to travel there in early morning to buy. This buying is in no sense exclusively men's work, as a visit to Covent Garden will show. Here, in the small hours of the morning, women will be found buying fruit, flowers, and vegetables with as much keenness as any displayed by men. Buying in this line, as in every other, is largely a matter of keeping a sharp look-out, and getting a first - hand understanding of "what things are." From the table below

Table Of Various Fruits, Showing How Each Kind Is Sold In The Markets, And The Times Of The Year When Seasonable

Fruit

Season

How sold in the market

Almonds, Jordan ......

December to March .. ..

In 106 lb. to 108 lb. bags.

" Barbary .....

September to March

„ Valencia and Sicily

December to February ..

Apples, Australian .....................

May to August ...........................

In 120 lb. barrels and 40 lb. boxes

" Ontario ......................

November to March .......................

In 144 lb. barrels

" Nova Scotian ......................

November to March .....................

In 120 lb. barrels

" Californian ..........................

November to February

In 50 lb. cases

" English .................................

August to November .......................

In 28 lb. and 56 lb. baskets

Apricots, English ...................

May to July ...................

In boxes of 1 to 5 dozen

" French ...................

June to August

In boxes of 1 dozen to 25 and cases of 8 dozen

" Cape Colony ................

June to August ...................

In boxes of 2 to 3 dozen

Bananas, Canary .. ..

All the year

On "stalks" containing 12 to 20 bananas, and in crates containing 1 and 2 stalks

" Ceylon ..........................

" Jamaica .......................

Blackberries, English ..............

September ..................

In baskets containing 6 lb. to 28 lb

Cherries, English ...................

April (forced) to June

In baskets containing 12 to 28 lb.

" French ................

April to August ...........

In 2 lb. to 5 lb. boxes, and 9 lb., 10 lb., 18 lb., and 20 lb. baskets

Chestnuts, English .. ..

November to January

In 80 lb. and 120 lb. bags

" French ..................

" Italian ...................

Coconuts, Ceylon .. ..

June to November .. ..

" Indian ..................

Separately, or in 50 lb. to 100 lb. bags

" African ................

South American ..

Currants, English ..................

June to August (red and black)

In 5 lb., 12 lb., and 28 lb. baskets

" French .......................

June and July (black)......

In 6 lb. to 8 lb. and 20 lb. to 24 lb. baskets

Dates, Fez .........................

October to February ...........

In 80 lb. boxes

" Tunis ........................

August to January ..................

In cases of fifty 1 lb. boxes

Figs, Smyrna .......................

August to January .. ..

In 2 lb. to 5 lb. boxes

" Malaga ......................

August to January

" Valencia ....................

January to October ..

Gooseberries, English ..

In 6 lb. to 28 lb. baskets, and better varieties in punnets containing 1 lb.

Fruit

Season

How sold in the market

Gooseberries, French.....................

May to August .....................

In 12 lb. to 15 lb. baskets

Grapes, English ......................

August and September; also specially forced at high prices sometimes throughout the year

In 81b. and 10 lb. baskets

,, Cape Colony ...................

February and March .......................

in 10 lb. boxes

,, Lisbon ......................

August to November........................

In 50 lb. to 55 lb. cases and barrels

,, Malaga.........................

August to November..................

In 50 lb. to 55 lb. cases and barrels

,, Denia .......................

August ...........................

In 12 lb. boxes and 26 lb. barrels

Lemons, Australian......

September and November............

In cases containing 200 to 360

,, Messina...................

November to August.............

,, Naples...................

March to October ................

,, Palermo.........................

November to August........................

Melons, English.....................

March to October..................

In baskets and boxes containing 2 to 6

" French

In crates containing 4 to 24

" Italian

In baskets containing 12 to 18 and in cases containing 24, 36, and 48

" Spanish

Nuts, Hazel (English)

December to March .......................

In 128 lb. bags

Oranges, Almeria .......................

November

In cases containing, as a rule, 420, 714, or 1,064 oranges

,, Australian..................

July to September...........

,, Brazilian...................

August and September ................

,, Denia...................

November to July................

,, Florida...................

September and October................

,, Jaffa.....................

October to February................

,, Messina.................

October to February................

,, Malta.....................

December to March................

,, Murcia.................

July and August................

,, Naples..................

May to August................

,, Palermo..................

October to February................

,, Seville.....................

January to March................

,, Valencia ......................

November to July................

Peaches, English............................

June to September........................

In boxes containing 12 to 36

,, French...........................

July to December........................

In boxes containing 12 to 15, and also in 14 lb. baskets

,, Californian.....................

July to December

In boxes containing 48

Pears, English............

„ Canadian............... ,, Californian............... ,, South African...............

September to November ..

In boxes of various quantities

In 160 lb. barrels

In 60 lb. to 80 lb. boxes

In cases containing 20 to 50

Pineapples, South American ,, West Indian

,, Ceylon

June to February .. ..

In cases containing 1 dozen

In cases containing 1/2 dozen and 1 dozen

Plums, Californian....................

September to March...............

In 28 lb. and 30 lb. cases

.. French...................

In 20 lb. baskets

,, English......

In 12 lb. to 28 lb. baskets

Raspberries, English

June to August..................

In 1 lb. to 12 lb. baskets

Rhubarb, English..................

April to July...................

In bundles

Strawberries English and Scotch

May to July.......................

In 1 lb. to 12 lb. punnets and baskets

,, French...................

May to July...............................

In 5 lb. baskets

Tomatoes, English and Scotch

All the year in hothouses

In 6 lb. to 12 lb..baskets

,, Channel Isles.....................

June to August.....................

In 12 lb. baskets

„ Canary........

December to February

In 12 lb. to 16 lb. boxes

,, Valencia..................

July.............

In 7 lb. to 9 lb. boxes

,, Lisbon..................

August.....................

In 40 lb. crates

,, French

June to August.......................

In 24 lb. crates

readers will see what fruits are in season in the different months, and also the. quantities in which they may be bought in the markets. It would be useless to give here prices, because they vary according to supply and demand, and other economic conditions unnecessary to mention.