Once Upon a Shop

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Once Upon a Shop
The essay “Once Upon a Shop” is written by the British writer Jeanette Winterson, and was first published in The Observer on June 13 2010. The text is about Jeanette Winterson’s vegetable shop, Verde, located in Spitalfields in the East End of London. In this essay Winterson tells the story of how she got to open the shop, Verde, what thoughts and ambition lay behind her decision not to sell out to a cooperative brand, but instead open her own small shop. In an ever-changing world, where time seems to fly by, and more people seem to be attracted to money and power, Winterson persuades the reader to rethink their set of values and to prioritise what, at the end of the day, will really have meant something. These are some of the issues that appear in Jeanette Winterson’s essay.

The world is fuelled by power and money. Government control the taxes; control who gets to pay less and who gets to pay more. In a world where you have to decide between quality or quantity, ecological or cheap, fast expedition or personal expedition, it is hard for small businesses to stay a-float. “I started the shop because I believe working from the bottom up is a good idea. Verde can’t tackle Tesco round the corner, nor can it change the fixed supply chains and discounting that make it so hard for small shops to compete with big business.” Winterson believes in the value of good workmanship, but claims that the government is fault for the prevailing belief, that time is money, and by benefitting the big businesses with tax cuts they make it impossible for small businesses to keep from bankruptcy. “What is the point of being human if you cannot live your own life in your own way.” Some of Winterson’s values can be interpreted as a bit old fashioned, but supplied with strong, valid arguments she gets the reader to see the world from her point of view.

Winterson uses…...

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