Vicki Morris has worked at Leicester Market for almost 40 years – selling a vibrant selection of fruit and veg from a stall in the heart of the city.
It’s a job she loves, and one which she wouldn’t swap for the world she tells Pukaar.
“I don’t think there’s anywhere better to work really – you’re working outdoors in the fresh air, you’re meeting loads of new people daily, from all nationalities across the world. What’s not to love?” she said.
“In Leicester we’re very much a mixed multi-cultural city, so you meet all kinds of interesting people. A lot of them treat me like family, especially the elderly ones,” she added.
“They’ll pop down for a chat and to pick up a few things. It’s a lovely job – the best job in the world I think!”
Vicki began working at Leicester Market at the tender age of 12, when she scouted the city in search of a Saturday job.
She was given a trial at one of the fruit and veg stalls, and the rest, as they say, is history…
“In those days there was no age limit
for work. I’d just turned 12 and after approaching the man at the fruit and veg stall, he said ‘come next Saturday for a trial’. So I did and I’ve been here ever since!” revealed the 50-year-old.
“I guess you could say I took to it like a duck to water really! From day one, I was out there selling and shouting for business. ”
“It’s a great fit for my personality definitely,” she added. “I love talking – I love the banter of shouting and bringing out my old sayings; ‘we’ve got the cream of the crop, have a look,’ things like that. It’s great fun!”
Vicki’s been running her own stall ‘Vicki’s Fresh Fruits’ for the past 19 years.
It was recently featured on BBC One’s ‘Food Fest England’, with Sean Fletcher and Edith Bowman.
The presenters travelled to Leicester in order to search for tips and treats from food producers/suppliers. They interviewed Vicki as part of the programme, which aired back in February.
She takes great pride in sourcing the finest produce and enjoys setting up her stall early each day.
“I love putting out the produce, standing back and looking at all the variety – the colours and the vibrancy,” she revealed.
As for Leicester Market itself ”it’s ‘one of the best in the world’ or at least it was in its ‘hey day’,” says Vicki, who has worked there for a total of 38 years.
“I’ve travelled quite far and have never seen a market quite like it – the vibrancy, and the hustle and bustle of it in its hey day was quite something,” she revealed.
“Since Covid, the market has diminished, and we’ve not quite got it back yet, but in its hey day, this was the best European market – probably one of the best in the world I’d say. Just an amazing place to be, and an amazing place to work!”
Check out Vicki’s TV appearance at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m001hzth/food-fest-england-series-1-leicester
By Louise Steel