Wilted dream: Prince Charles closes unprofitable organic veggie shop

A spokeswoman for Prince Charles said he closed his vegetable store after it failed to make a profit and stopped being financially viable to maintain.

LONDON — Britain's weak economy has taken its toll on the nation's poshest greengrocer with Prince Charles forced to close his organic vegetable store, citing falling trade and rising prices.

Prince Charles, the heir to the throne and a champion of the environment, opened a store near to his country home Highgrove in Gloucestershire, southwest England, about eight years ago after converting his estate to organic farming in 1986.

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The store, The Veg Shed, sold organic vegetables and fruit freshly grown on the estate's Duchy Home Farm and became known for selling edible but oddly shaped organic produce that would normally be rejected by supermarkets.

But a spokeswoman for the prince said the store had closed after it failed to make a profit as it was no longer financially viable. The produce was invariably more expensive than at local supermarkets.

"The Veg Shed has closed, basically in response to consumer trends, a preference for shopping remotely," a spokeswoman from Clarence House, the prince's official London residence, told Reuters on Tuesday.

She said consumers wanting a taste of the royal organic produce can still order boxes online.

(Reporting by Limei Hoang; editing by Belinda Goldsmith)