Cheshire West and Chester Council can now reveal the first allocation of twenty-two stalls that have been contracted or are under offer to trade in the new Market when it opens in October at the heart of the new Northgate development. A further six traders, including other current and new market traders, are in the process of concluding their leases.
Fifteen of the stalls being announced in the first round will be relocating from the existing market, including Bookingham Palace, NiceBites, Vinyl Ritchie, MRKT Café, Jap Tech (phone repair), Geoff Hughes Family Butchers, Purely Pots (plants), Thai by Thai (Thai street food), The Sandbar (seafood shack), My Trophy Dog (pet shop), Pastry Pedaleur (gourmet pastries) and Guroma (Bangladeshi street food); with some traders taking more than one stall.
Seven stalls will be opened by traders new to the market, all small independent businesses, including a new central and satellite bar operated by iKO Ventures, pizza specialist The Mercato Pizza Company, Cheshire Farm Ice Cream, coffee bar Bean & Cole, cheese-based street food Cheesy Bandits and opticians Pop Specs.
The Council will also be seeking tenants for the new market’s remaining stalls; any potential trader wishing to be considered should contact the market letting agents, Barker Proudlove via Jessica Swain email: firstname.lastname@example.org. As further leases are completed, more trader details will be announced.
Councillor Richard Beacham, Cabinet Member for Inclusive Growth, Economy and Regeneration, said:
“There is a great deal of interest in Chester’s new Market, so I am delighted that we are now in a position to make our first announcement about traders – they represent a fantastic mix of both current traders and new expertise. The vision for the new market has always been to create a modern traditional market, a stunning new home for local independent businesses and creative entrepreneurs.
“Many of the existing traders will be making the transition to the new market and selling familiar local produce, a great range of goods and services, and the high-quality food and drink that we have all come to enjoy, all built around new and unique communal spaces right in the heart of our city.”
The current traders that will be relocating to the new market include:
Bookingham Palace and Vinyl Ritchie have been two longstanding and well-loved stalls within the existing market run by Richard Newton for the past six years. Richard said: “I pride myself on being a cultural hub for the city with customers from all walks of life that share their unique tastes in music and literature with me; being able to offer a personal service to each and every customer in the new market will be a great privilege and I can’t wait for it to open.”
Jap Tech owner Munawar Hussain is thrilled to be moving his established phone and gadget repair stall over to the new market. Munawar said: “We will continue to fix and unlock phone and gadgets quickly, ranging from new screens to batteries, all types of replacement cables plus laptop and games console repairs and accessories, all with great customer service and no fix – no charge.”
Purely Pots has been a haven for plants, large and small, familiar and exotic, in the market for over two years; catering for every type of plant lover. Lisa Dean and her colleagues’ encyclopaedic knowledge encourages and guides their customers to find and care for their perfect plant. Lisa said “We firmly believe that plants are beneficial to our wellbeing, reducing stress and anxiety. Caring for plants promotes mindfulness, living in the moment, which is key for our health and happiness.”
Geoff Hughes has worked in Chester Market since he was 14 years old, later setting up Geoff Hughes Family Butchers in 1996, together with his wife of 39 years, Debbie. Geoff said, “We are delighted to be able to make the move to the new building, as Chester Market begins a brand new chapter in what I believe to be a very proud history; we look forward to welcoming all our current customers and gaining new ones when we open.”
Stephanie Peters opened Pastry Pedaleur in the current market only last year but has already built up a great reputation for her French inspired handcrafted gourmet pastries and desserts. The ex-Chester Grosvenor Pastry Chef, Stephanie said: “I am so excited to have been offered a place in the new market, it will give me the opportunity to expand the range of cakes and pastries on offer and I look forward to adding to the diversity and deliciousness in Chester and contribute to creating a unique foodie destination not to be missed.”
The new traders that have confirmed their stall leases in the new market include:
The central and smaller satellite bar will be operated by iKO Projects, an experienced Chester-based operator of three other bars in the city – Liquor & Co., Craft & Company and The Cabinet Club. Ian Gordon, iKO founder said: “The Northgate development has been many years in the making and Chester’s expectations are high; we look forward to delivering a fantastic bar offering at the heart of the new market and working with all the traders to deliver a truly unique service and quickly establish the market as the best it can be.”
The pizzas in the new market will be provided by Mercato Pizza Co, owned by Rick Feery who has many years’ experience running a mobile pizzeria and was previously head chef at a prominent Italian restaurant business. Rick said: “We can’t wait to open in Chester Market having served our pizzas at food markets across Cheshire, we will be creating the most amazing Neapolitan pizzas with new and exciting toppings using traditional methods and using the freshest local ingredients wherever possible.”
Well known Chester coffee experts Bean & Cole will be expanding to open their second outlet in the new market and provide a specialty espresso and filter coffee bar. The family-run business of Nicole and Ian McArdle have been trading in Frodsham Street for over three years. Nicole said: At Bean & Cole we have a passion for connecting with people, our passion is built on lifelong relationships, bringing people together through truly quality coffee and we look forward to providing a small piece of happiness to people’s daily routine at the new market.”
Cheshire Farm Ice Cream will be opening an Ice Cream and Pudding Parlour in the new market to expand their business based near Tattenhall where they have famously been manufacturing their ice creams since 1986. Ed Warrington said: “We look forward to offering an extensive range of our real dairy ice creams, fruit sorbets and vegan ice creams alongside warm and cold puddings plus milkshakes made with our own ice cream too, the new market will be a fantastic addition to our business portfolio.”
Pop-Specs will be opening a unique opticians concept in the new market, with the emphasis on competitive pricing and speedy delivery, along with fun. Aiming to provide customers with a style consultation for selecting a frame design, recommendations on the lens, and within twenty minutes have their new glasses ready to be fitted. The brainchild of Daniel Barnes who has over twenty years’ experience in the optical industry, Daniel said: “We are really looking forward to opening Pop Specs in Chester and building on our store’s success in Manchester, to offer stylish instant eyewear and transform the way people buy their prescription glasses.”
To apply for a place in the new market, traders were asked to complete an application form and provide evidence of their trading history or provide an optional business plan. Each application was scored against a set of criteria which included their experience, marketing strategy and business viability.
The evaluation panel was made up of the Council’s Markets Team, and external advisers – some with nationally recognised expertise in developing markets as well as local independent business representation. The Council is obliged by law to achieve best value in all its property transactions and this thorough process ensured that this obligation was met.
For those traders that were unsuccessful, individual feedback was offered on their application. Through its Business Support, Property and Markets Teams, the Council are also offering support to any trader that did not wish to apply for a stall in the new market and help them plan their future beyond the closure of the existing market when the new market opens.