GREENGROCER Cary Thompson has called time on his shop, Village Veg, after 16 years in Devizes.

But Mr Thompson and his wife, Carol, are continuing to sell fruit and vegetables.

The couple, who have a smallholding near their home in Bromham, opened Village Veg in The Brittox in 1996.

Prior to that, Mr and Mrs Thompson supplied Mortimers fruit shop, which was previously on the site, with their produce.

In its heyday Village Veg supplied most of the hotels, pubs, cafes, a number of convenience stores, three special schools and a few residential homes in the Devizes area with fresh fruit and vegetables.

The shop was stocked by 12 local producers but these dwindled over the years and the economic downturn hit the business.

The couple gave up the lease on the shop in April 2011 and reopened, briefly in New Park Street, and latterly in a former recruitment office in Wine Street.

But following the recent opening of Jimmy Deane’s fruit and veg shop in The Brittox, Mr and Mrs Thompson decided to close their shop last month.

Mr Thompson said: “It’s sad to close because our name has been in the centre of Devizes for 16 years.

“A move to smaller premises proved to be the wrong thing to do in hindsight as our market share diminished.

“The business has tried very hard to keep a presence in Devizes as we love the town dearly but times are changing and, now that there is an alternative, and with many customers understandably choosing economy rather than quality, we have decided the time is right to cut our losses and put more effort into other aspects of our business.”

Village Veg will continue its home delivery service in Devizes and be at markets in Chippenham and Tetbury.

It also still supplies a number of outlets on a wholesale basis.

Mr Thompson said: “We have a number of loyal customers who now have home deliveries and we are actively working from Bromham.

“We would like to thank our customers for their support over the years.”