Who is it suited to?
Business agent Michael Taylor of Everett Masson and Furby notes that many enquiries into buying greengrocer's come from people in the trade. "But although it certainly helps," he says, "that doesn't mean you necessarily have to have experience to take one on."
It isn't a complicated business that requires a good deal of specialist training so much as one in which trial and error will be the best teachers. You might be able to predict what your customers want, but you can't predict that they'll turn their noses up at okra or ugly fruit until you offer such products for sale.
Having said that, it should be part of the package that the outgoing owner will give you some rudimentary training in how to run the business. You will need to know where the supply markets are and which ones the outgoing owners regularly go to. Although you may choose not to continue using a particular supplier, it's helpful to carry on with a current arrangement at the start.
Depending on the amount of time the outgoing owners spend with you, you may also be introduced to the regular customers and be given tips on the types and quantities of produce currently ordered. Any pointers that enable a smooth hand over will be to your advantage.
The popular image of your friendly greengrocer who addresses you by name and always has time for a chat is not entirely a fallacy. You will have to be a 'people person' to be a success.
As an 'old-fashioned' business, you need to make sure that your customers are getting old fashioned service too. This means that you provide reasonably priced, good quality products and employ sociable staff.