American in Spain

Fruteria - How to open a small business

December 4, 2009
Fruit Stand Conversation

Recently a small shop in town selling decorative housewares, that had been there for the entire four years we've lived here, went out of business. While it was always interesting to look into their shop window, I think I only went in once, and the shopkeeper wasn't very pleasant, so nothing was purchased. The shop was on a prime corner right in the center of town. I can't think of a better location for a shop in town. So of course I was pretty curious as to who would jump on that choice piece of real estate. It was empty for a couple weeks, and then the painting started. The facade that used to be white was painted yellow, and plastic-covered blown up photos of fruit were added. This trick has been used by a candy shop in town as well. There's something about seeing enormous pieces of candy that make you want to eat some. Then one day it opened. The layout of the inside is gorgeous and every fruit and vegetable is easily visible. And they always have a good selection of everything, including exotic fruits like higos chumbos. Immediately the place was filled with customers.

I walk by this shop every day, and the husband and wife that run the place are always so busy. If there's a customer, they are serving them, and when there's not, they are loading crates of fruit off a van, reorganizing displays, or cleaning. I've only been in there twice, and each time, I was barely over the threshold before someone was asking me what I wanted. The place is spotless and looks great at all times. That takes a lot of work!

This place pleases me because it's a model for a good work ethic. If you are willing to work hard, be nice to customers, and keep your shop looking great, then you can be a success. (Or at least appear to be, as I don't have any idea how profitable the place is.)


I took this photograph with my HD video camera. The tilting viewfinder and the 15x zoom allows for very covert photography. I was about 50 meters away at the time. Anyway, I like this photograph for lots of reasons. It captures the small Spanish town atmosphere of a shop owner chatting with an old man on a bicycle. You'd be surprised how many old men on bikes there are around here. Too bad about the fence post in the foreground.

Fruit Stand Conversation