Their success can be gauged by the length of the queues that form up every Wednesday and Saturday morning for the fresh produce which the Bones have purchased the night before at the new Spitalfields Market in Leyton.
Tyler Bone recently took over running the business from his father David, son of Albert Bone who in 1959 opened the first fruit and vegetable stall at what was then the Barnet cattle market.
“My father used to buy chickens, eggs and rabbits at the market for his green grocer’s shop in Edmonton, and one day he asked the market guvnor, Mr Young, if he could start a fruit and vegetable stall,” said David Bone.
“It was such a success that my dad gave up his shop for the twice-weekly stall in Barnet.
“I started working on the stall when I was seven and when I left school dad let me start a separate vegetable stall and we have been here ever since.
“It’s always been a family affair. My father’s father, Albert Bone senior, used to help, and now my son Tyler runs the business, so that’s four generations.
“Over the years the whole family has helped: my dad’s wife Joan helped him with the stall, as did her mum May, and so did my sisters, Roma and Rachel.
“The family connections live on and we get second and third generation customers coming up to us and they are always asking how everyone is.”
Tyler Bone, who is 28, hopes the family’s name will live on at Barnet. “I’d love to see a fifth generation Bone helping on the stall. I’m working on it!”
Much of the stall’s success is due to the wide range of Indian, Oriental and Caribbean fruit and vegetables that the Bones have on sale.
“We arrive with our lorry at the new Spitalfields Market in Leyton at 11pm on Tuesday and Friday nights and then scour the market for the fruit and vegetables we hope will sell well.
“Of course, the supermarkets can beat us, so we are always hunting for produce that you can’t get at the price or quality that we can offer.
“We get back to Barnet at about 3am in the morning and start setting up the stall at 6am, ready for the market to open.
“We’re getting used to our new pitch by the bandstand entrance to the Spires and hoping that one day the market area will be extended and improved.”