Edward Larsen has been selling Spare Change News for about the last 8 years, and is currently one of the top vendors. Still, while Ed’s sales numbers remain high he is quick to state that things have been better.
“When the economy was good, I was doing pretty well. Not nearly as well now,” Ed reminds us.
Unfortunately, Ed doesn’t see any signs that the economy is improving, based on his experience hitting the streets nearly every day. “I think it’s going to get worse and worse,” he laments.
Despite his worries about his financial situation and his health—Ed suffers from cancer and other medical conditions, such as Crohn’s Disease and colitis—he remains extremely personable. Ed is a role model of sorts among his fellow vendors, and he comments that the respect they feel for him is mutual: “I’ve gotten to meet and know some decent vendors,” Ed reflects.
Ed learned his trade as a newspaper vendor rapidly, evident as he describes how he got involved with Spare Change. “One day I came in and they gave me 10 free papers for signing up. I came back an hour later after selling them all and bought 25 more.”
Ed has sold Spare Change in a variety of locations around Boston, starting outside of Massachusetts General Hospital, then moving to North Station. He is currently deeply entrenched in his current spot at Longwood Medical Center, where he has been for several years. Ed has relationships with many of his customers, and they are extremely loyal to him. A natural salesman and self-described capitalist, Mr. Larsen has made newspaper vending a true entrepreneurial endeavor—he has even taken Spare Change on the road with success, selling the paper in New York City when visiting his brothers there.
Have you had the pleasure of meeting Ed? If so, share your experiences below. If not, meet him at Longwood. Ed will relish the chance to get to know you—and he’ll probably turn you into a regular customer!