Vegan food is back on the Surrey Street menu with the return of the Veg Instead stall following a two-week break forced on the owners after police foiled an armed robbery attempt on the nearby High Street post office.
Greg Kirby and Grace Magecha were busy setting up for a day’s trading at the end of last month when the chase of the suspected robbers careered into Croydon’s oldest market – and the couple’s popular food stall.
Greg and Grace used their unexpected break from work to pull together new equipment so that they could get back to their pitch and the customer base they have built since setting up shop in Surrey Street.
Greg said: “We’ve been here for about three months now, and we’ve seen a gradual build-up of customers.
“We’ve been in hospitality pretty much since leaving school but this is our first venture for ourselves. We’ve always been foodies, and decided now was the time to do our own thing.
“We’re local people, so we knew Surrey Street well and were confident it would be a good place to start, and we’re pleased to say that things have been very good. It’s surprising the number of vegans and generally health-conscious people there are in the area.”
Grace added: “Since the accident, people have been very helpful and generous, and our customers have been very supportive – and we’d like to thank them all for that.”
Councillor Mark Watson, cabinet member for communities, safety and justice
“It’s great that Grace and Greg have been able to bounce back from a most unfortunate accident and that they continue to believe that Surrey Street is the right place for them to do business.
“The market’s a tremendous asset to the town, offering a wide variety of goods and produce at highly competitive prices. Start-ups such as Veg Instead are really important as they breathe new life and attract new customers to a market that’s been trading for hundreds of years.”