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Food market going from strength to strength with council grant

An African Caribbean food market in Andover has benefited from a Test Valley Borough Council Independent Retailer Grant. Customers from across Hampshire and Wiltshire are now visiting Rita African Caribbean Food Market in Waterloo Court after she opened her doors last year.

Located next door to her brother’s barbershop, Rita Anoma’s business specialises in selling Ghanaian, Nigerian and Jamaican foods, as well as goods from South Africa and Cameroon among others.

Rita said: “To see my business start taking off is fantastic and I’m so pleased that the people of Andover seem to enjoy shopping here.

“It’s also a bonus to be next door to my brother and I’m glad he recommended this grant to me as the support I’ve had from Test Valley Borough Council has been invaluable.”

St Mary’s ward councillor John Cockaday said: “Rita’s hard work is paying off with customers coming from all over to try out some of the food she has on offer. Having Rita’s business attract visitors into Andover is brilliant and I’m glad that the council has helped make that happen.”

Recipients of the £1,000 grant first receive £500 after three months of trading and a further £500 six months later.

To be eligible for the grant, new or existing independent businesses must occupy a town centre ground floor unit which has been vacant for at least one month. Qualifying businesses include shops, restaurants and cafes.