Photos of friendly faces from Oxford’s covered market

Traders gather for an off-market covered market event in 2014

Traders in Oxford’s covered market have set up an essential delivery service for customers during the pandemic.

But once the restrictions were lifted, the market became packed with shoppers and tourists again, and it was packed with shoppers in the run-up to Easter.

Here we feature photos of some of the retailers who have given customers a warm welcome over the years.

Oxford Mail:

Last summer, the employees at Bonner’s fruit and vegetable stand in the market hall were still fighting the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on trade.

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Wholesale orders from universities and other businesses went away overnight and manager Gordon Piggott and his wife Verity decided to start an online shop to survive.

Oxford Mail:

It started off in a big way, with orders coming in for supplies from all over Oxfordshire.

Now, a year later, online deliveries are still going strong, but the company is in a much stronger position after returning the majority of its wholesale orders following the easing of coronavirus restrictions.

Oxford Mail:

Mr Piggott previously said: “Online orders are still stable but we are now back to having our wholesale orders from restaurants such as No 1 Ship Street and from the White Rabbit, the Story Museum and from Wilding, the new restaurant on Little Clarendon Street.

“We also supply fruit and vegetables to a number of other Oxford University colleges – Brasenose, Corpus Christi, Exeter, St John’s.

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“That’s all we missed last year — the wholesale side of the business is back with a vengeance.”

Mr Piggott said some fruit and vegetables are supplied from local farms.

“We get soft fruit, asparagus and potatoes from local places like Rectory Farm,” he added.

“There’s also a farm in Hinton Woodrist that supplies us.”

Oxford Mail:

Mr Piggott is now hoping that more office workers and international tourists will continue to return to the city centre.

Over the past year, online delivery with a flat-rate delivery service for all locations proved an attractive option for people at home during lockdown, and soon Bonners staff were using their vans to deliver goods from other stalls in the market along with their fruit and veg to deliver .

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These included Wicket Chocolate, The Oxford Cheese Company and Teardrop Brewery.