A Market Rasen businesswoman has gone from saving lives to promoting healthy living through healthy eating.
Maria Pemberton took over Greens of Lincolnshire last June and earlier this month received a highly commended certificate in the Select Lincolnshire Awards.
“The award nomination came out of the blue,” said Maria.
“When I heard I had been nominated I had to pinch myself; it didn’t feel quite real.
“The fact that Greens has been recognised in this way is wonderful.”
Greens of Lincolnshire in Market Rasen’s Queen Street, stocks fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as wholesome artisan breads, local cheese and delicious delicatessen delights.
Working as a full time paramedic, Maria felt she had come to a crossroads back in June 2012.
She had always had an underlying passion to work with food and had enjoyed making chutneys and sweets for family and friends.
Then Maria discovered the MR Big blog.
“I got in touch with them and said how I would love to open a deli.
“I had retail experience, but not business experience.
“Mr Big encouraged me to take a stall at the market and I was really encouraged with how they went.”
Over the next few months, Maria - working as West Wold Deli - worked on her product development.
And when she heard MR BIG was planning to open Greens, she was one of the first to approach them to supply chutneys and artisan bread for them to sell.
“This led to more of my products being sold and then I got involved with volunteering at the shop,” added Maria.
“Then, when Greens came up for tender, I won and here I am.”
Since taking over the shop, Maria has expanded the delicatessen range to include salads and Scotch eggs or, indeed, anything the customer requires.
And she also has four paid employees.
“Our long term plan is to have a proper salad bar and to expand the cheese range,” said Maria, who is also phasing out the West Wold Deli label and expanding the Greens of Lincolnshire label.
For the immediate future, Maria is continuing with her stall at the monthly market in Market Rasen and with the Greens of Lincolnshire branding, people are now identifying the products sold on the stall with her high street shop.
As well as The Deli at Greens, the locally sourced fresh fruit and veg continue to be popular.
And the most popular aspect is the veg box scheme, which sees regular deliveries to a growing number of households.
“We have a lot of young mums using the scheme, who find it particularly convenient to get wholesome fresh produce delivered direct to them.”
To find out more about the veg box scheme and what else is on offer at Greens of Lincolnshire call in to the shop or give Maria a call on 01673 842028.