WHILE most of Penarth is slumbering at 3.30am, Tricia Evans is up and on her way to the fruit and vegetable wholesale market.

As part of our support of the Shop Penarth scheme, this week we are taking a look at what life is like for one of Penarth's best known local businesses.

For the last four years Mrs Evans and her partner, Mike Evans, have been running one of the best-known shops in town, the Windsor Fruit Stores in Windsor Arcade and have recently been named Gwyrddio Penarth Greening's (GPG) green business of the month.

Mr and Mrs Evans both want to help retain Penarth’s real sense of community which they believe is partly about the variety of independent businesses and local events.

Mrs Evans has a passion for her job, going down six days a week to source all the fruit and veg we need for our "five a day", and looking out for new items which may never have made an appearance in Penarth before.

She said: "It is thrilling to be talking to customers about how to prepare and cook a particular vegetable or new fruit, and looking at our shop and seeing the huge variety of things we now sell – it gives us such satisfaction and makes the effort worthwhile."

The Windsor Fruit Store has been part of the Shop Penarth scheme for many years, and Gwyrddio Penarth Greening (GPG) who organise Shop Penarth, are particularly pleased to see Mr and Mrs Evans sourcing as much produce as possible from Wales – and as locally as possible, as this cuts down the travel miles.

Recently they have been buying some produce from Abergavenny Farm.

Mrs Evans said: "We are very influenced by the seasons and the weather, and I do my best to ensure the produce we sell is really up to the mark for our Penarth customers."

Mrs Evans, who, despite her very long day seems permanently cheerful, does show some disappointment when she hears that customers think the best place to find something unusual is a supermarket,

She said: "Try us first."

Much of the wide variety of produce available in the shop is organic.

They are happy to deliver to the door for orders given in person or over the phone.

They also do an organic box with something different included each time.

Their Shop Penarth offer available to SP card holders is currently 30p off six eggs from Monday to Thursday.

Mrs Evans' ambition is to ensure that the shop is around for generations to come.

Daughter, Lucy, isn’t thinking about a life among fruit and veg.

Mrs Evans agrees with GPG about making Penarth more environmentally friendly.

"We do our best by separating our waste, but the cost of disposal of cardboard is challenging for a small business – these are the hidden costs, few people know about," she said.