Prentis Greengrocers in Ramsgate to close shop next month

John Prentis and covid ambassador Bob Hughes during the pandemic

Prentis Greengrocers will shut the doors to its Ramsgate store next month after more than a decade of serving customers at the site.

The King Street shop remained open during the pandemic as an essential business, supplying customers at the store and with deliveries.

The closure is a blow to the town which lost JC Rook’s last month and previously the former Bartlett and White/Paynes fruit and veg shop.

Prentis is run by John Prentis Snr who says a combination of not being able to compete with supermarket prices and the need to cut back his hours has prompted the decision.

He said: “Whilst we have enjoyed serving the customers of Ramsgate for the past 10 years, with the inability to compete with the special prices of Aldi and Asda’s etc and the drop in footfall around the town in general due to out of town shopping centres, we have decided to concentrate on our wholesale and catering part of the business.

“This will also help enable me to cut back on my hours due to being 70 years old and hoping to retire in the future.

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of our customers who have loyally supported us over the years.”

Prentis Greengrocers will shut the store on May 7. The wholesale and catering business will continue.


    • That’s the problem, isn’t it? “When I could” just isn’t enough to keep them afloat.
      “Use it or lose it”. Well, not enough of us used it, so now it’s closing.
      A sad loss as yet another long-standing, local firm bites the dust

    • It’s not exactly rocket science. You open a massive out of town shopping centre and thanet town centres will be negatively impacted. The town planners and economic development staff at the council screwed up in my opiniin. All focus should have been on enabling development sites and attracting retailers to town centres and having thriving town centres.

  1. It’s not just Ramsgate the whole High Street scene has vanished thanks to online trade & big supermarket chains cutting meat & veg prices.
    The overheads of keeping a shop like this operational must be vast & if your not showing a profit that covers it why bother?
    All the best John

    • Yet some areas survive far better than Ramsgate/Margate – such as Broadstairs, Birchington, Herne Bay, Whitstable and Deal.

      I know some people are in denial, but both towns suffer with anti-social behaviour. Unless there is a greater police/security presence, I’m afraid that nothing will entice shoppers back.

      • The place is full of filth notjust the great unwashed layabouts, just take a look around the streets and parks, litter,dog mess, weeds and graffiti. Thanet residents should be ashamed, letting the place turn into the hell hole it is. Don’t complain about the government or council it’s the people who live here that are to blame

      • I think its because both broadstairs and birchington have both got older populations who in general are much likely to shop local

        • More to do with the spending power of those that frequent the various towns, prentices always had a reputation of having very good quality and fresh produce, this inevitably costs more to provide, if those that walk past your shop aren’t prepared to pay that premium they won’t buy anything.

      • If you go to Asia the shops stay open til late at night and the towns/cities are thriving at them times. Our shops open 9 to 5 when everyone is at work and alot of the shoppers free don’t have a great deal of money or also have other things to do.

        I think it would be a great option for a family or friends night out say on a Friday night to go shopping. It would give a whole boost to the economy

      • Chicken or egg Peter?

        If the high streets were thriving then more money would be available to the Councils to provide services to those areas.

        • It’s largely the council that stop them from thriving. Why would you park up in margate or ramsgate Town and pay a premium to do it when you can park anywhere for free up westwood. They need to stop and think about the bigger picture

          • The car parks have also to be clean and safe. I don’t know about Ramsgate, but Margate isn’t a particularly nice place to park, with the multi-story car parks at both Mill Lane and College Square being quite uninviting, Trinity Square car park a little out of the way, and the Old Town car park very limited… None of which particularly affects me as I don’t drive, but the vast majority of shoppers these day do. Many people I know (particularly women on their own) wouldn’t use the Margate multi-story car parks even if they were free.

    • High streets are now intimidating places. Gangs of feral kids, the constant smell of weed, the alcoholics, the homeless blocking shopfronts, and graffiti everywhere. There is no security in Englands high streets and they no longer feel safe to shop.

      Marva, Phylis and Andrew will disagree but it’s people like them who tolerate the collapse of our society, they are all in agreement that criminals shouldn’t be imprisoned. No wonder people are out of control when they know people will defend them and put their interests above the majority of society’s.

      Until the ferals, junkies and alcoholics are moved on, the high streets will continue to decline and and the majority will suffer at the hands of
      The minority.

      • You bet I disagree. When did Phyllis Quot, Andrew or I say that criminals shouldn’t be imprisoned?

        The first paragraph of COncerned’s 8.50 a.m. comment is, as usual, an exaggerated burst of paranoia.

        • Marva, a couple of years ago you even suggested paying people to stop committing crime. Do you not remember ? I do as it was the most ridiculous comment I have ever heard on this site.

          Andrew is a firm advocate for keeping criminals in the community and only issuing them community sentencing, read his previous comments .

          Criminal Scum needs locking up behind bars not left in the community to ruin the lives of the majority. Community sentencing does not work. The vast majority of the scum that blights Thanet’s streets are scum that have been issued countless community sentences. 20,30,40 convictions later they continue to reoffend because they know that they will more than likely be given yet another chance to reoffend when the next liberal judge lets them off with yet another community sentence. Prison might be expensive but at least the scum are off the streets and not reoffending.

  2. This is heart breaking to hear, it’s a lovely greengrocers with very friendly staff, go in there most days. Will be such a shame to lose them, .. Thanks for all being so friendly and helpful, wishing you all the best 🍓🍒🍊🍑

  3. Hang on! I was in town Tuesday and saw that another Greengrocer was operating from the former Rooks shop! Its almost opposite Prentice, coincidence then that it seemed to be doing a good trade!

    • The “other” greengrocer is operating from the ex Bartlett & White shop. Rook’s ex shop is still empty.

          • This still goes to show just how few people use greengrocers these days. Back in the 80s, my uncle owned a greengrocers in Garlinge High Street, and there was another one over the road. Both survived until well into the 90s when (ironically!) everyone starting shopping in Margate instead.

  4. John Prentis Snr – thankyou for the 10 years you have been serving us in Ramsgate town, I will miss your store, good luck with the other side of your business & enjoy some ‘you’ time. I often think people don’t realise the 24/7 it takes in running a small business. Enjoy

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