Fresh food shop enjoys customer rush on first day

Abbey Fresh Food in the town’s High Street has opened in the large retail unit previously occupied by Abingdon Sports.

It is being run by Plamena Marinova and Biser Andreev.

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The couple came to the UK from Bulgaria in 2006 and worked for Millets Farm in Frilford, picking, planting and packing fruit.

Oxford Mail: Abbey Fresh FoodThey started out in the UK living in a caravan and worked at the farm centre for 10 years.

Now they have their own shop selling fresh fruit and vegetables, bread, meat and lots of other groceries, including cheese and wine.

“It’s been very busy with customers since early this morning,” said Mr Andreev.

“The customers have been coming in waves throughout the day and they have given us a good welcome, asking lots of questions.”

Oxford Mail: The meat counterThe owners are hoping customers find the shop a convenient alternative to the supermarkets and are pledging to keep their prices as low as possible.

Among the customers on the first day were Ann Needham and son Michael who live in the town.

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Mrs Needham said: “I have lived here for 60 years so when I heard about this shop I thought I would go and have a look.

“I’m pleased to see something like this in the town centre and I hope they do well.

Oxford Mail: Fruit and veg“I think their success could depend on their pricing.”

Son Michael added: “My mum doesn’t drive so it’s not so easy for her to get to the supermarkets – anything that is new and fresh like this in the town centre is good.”

Alina, who works in a nearby building society, said she was pleased to see the fresh bread.

“Staff are very friendly – I will definitely be coming back,” she said.

One customer who came into the shop asked the owners: “What’s your USP (unique selling point?)”

Oxford Mail: Abbey Fresh FoodWhen Mr Andreev pointed out the butcher’s counter at the back of the shop he was delighted.

Ms Marinova said fruit and veg is being sourced from local farms, including Millets, while bread will arrive from the Natural Bread Company in North Hinksey.

The owners plan to hire three or four full and part-time staff to help them run the shop.

It will be open seven days a week, from 7am to 8pm.

Abbey Fresh Food is next door to the Dog Spot, a dog-friendly cafe which opened in the unit previously occupied by an air ambulance charity shop.

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About the author 

Andy is the Trade and Tourism reporter for the Oxford Mail and you can sign up to his newsletters for free here. 

He joined the team more than 20 years ago and he covers community news across Oxfordshire.

His Trade and Tourism newsletter is released every Saturday morning. 

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