CHESTER Market traders have been able to get a glimpse of their future with a visit to the new market hall.
With work well under way inside the market, traders were able to see where their stalls will be located and get a sense of how the new 36,000 sq ft space will feel.
The visit comes as two further experienced current traders have confirmed their intention to make the move to the new market, Crustum and Stephen Cartridge Fishmonger.
Crustum has been in Chester market since 2018, providing artisan bread and homemade cakes, alongside excellent quality coffee and teas all provided by local suppliers. All food is made from scratch using fresh and local produce, and with a modern twist.
Crustum means bread in Latin, to represent the artisan bread which they are known for and as an artisan business as a whole.
Owner Wiktoria Glazer said: “We are looking forward to improving and growing further in the new market with excitement and passion, our core service is modern and casual dining which includes breakfast, brunch and lunch, where we offer fresh, simple and authentic dishes using local produce and are now proud to be 100 per cent vegetarian.”
Steve Cartridge has been the fishmonger in the current market for over 20 years, providing fresh fish and seafood for customers and local restaurants.
Steve said: “As I live a few miles from Fleetwood I can assure my customers that all my fish and seafood will continue to be ‘same-day docks to counter fresh’, and far fresher and nutritious than anything supermarkets can offer.
“When the new market opens you can rely on me to offer a fantastic range of fish and seafood at great value.”
One of the traders joining the tour was Ray Morris, who runs MRKT Café with his family. Their ethos is to create a welcoming environment to cater for everyone, whether it’s a hearty breakfast to get a morning off to a good start, afternoon tea with friends, a grab-and-go lunch in the middle of the working day, their popular speciality shawarmas or chef’s themed specials on Foodie Nights.
Ray said: “We have been running the café in the market for 20 years and have kept it true to its original nature, a traditional café and meeting place, serving our many loyal customers. We serve exceptional quality food and want everyone, young and old, to feel welcome in our space. We are very much looking forward to continuing this in the new market.”
Also on the tour was Martin Taylor of The Sandbar; by combining his years of knowledge in top restaurant kitchens with travels from around the world and a passion for seafood and surfing, The Sandbar brought the perfect seafood shack experience to the current market in 2020 and has not looked back since.
Martin said: “I look forward to continuing in my quest to offer seasonal dishes, classic coastal seafood, and original recipes from around the world; my focus is always on freshness and top-quality ingredients including bowls of steaming fragrant mussels; crispy soft-shell crabs with hot and sour salads, traditional fish soups, and sparkling fresh oysters shucked to order.”
Three other current street food traders unable to join the first tour shared their excitement ahead of the new market opening:
NiceBites was the original street food stall when the current market was rejuvenated and relaunched in 2016, with an impressive track record of great reviews and loyal customers, serving homemade American style burgers, hot dogs and sides, all made to their own unique recipe, even smoking their own meats and using local seasonal produce to create the very best flavours and dishes.
Stuart Fenney said: “I’ve been waiting four years to take this leap to expand my business further into the new market and can’t wait to join the other great food stalls to offer an amazing choice of styles and tastes.”
Thai by Thai and its sister stall Poon Poon Oriental Foods have become two of the current market’s most popular food outlets, building a fantastic reputation for fully authentic Thai and oriental street food and great value; the menu includes starters, ranging from spring rolls, toasties, calamari and fishcakes and main dishes range from stir fries, noodles, rice and curry.
Poon Poon offers offered a wide range of oriental food with salad garnish and dips based on lighter buffet type food.
Both run by Sirikorn Jones, originally from Thailand, she said: “My new stall will offer a unique and truly Thai cultural experience, combining the best of my current stalls featuring a stylish new interior design to complement my dishes.”
A newcomer to Chester Market, Cheezy Bandits will be offering a cheese-themed street food stall inspired by the love of cheese.
It will offer a unique and delicious menu revolving around a popular and versatile food product, to provide fun, shareable dishes available to take away or dine in whilst customers explore the market, plus there will be vegan options.
Owner Nicky Groves is an experienced chef and restaurant manager, and she said: “We’ll be serving cheese-based dishes such as fully loaded mac and cheese with the option to put your own creative spin on it by choosing your own toppings, we will also put a cheesy twist on the classic burger, where cheese is the patty! Filled with oozing camembert, halloumi or smoked cheddar all sourced locally in Cheshire.”
Councillor Richard Beacham, Cabinet Member for Inclusive Growth, Economy and Regeneration, said: “Excitement is building as we get closer to opening the new market and with two more well-respected, existing traders being added to the line-up I think things are really starting to take shape.
“Things are taking shape inside the building too, and I know that being able to show some of the traders around the new market has been a key milestone for the team behind the project.
“There is a real buzz amongst the traders, the public and the council teams now as we enter a really important phase of the project and keep working together to the deliver a new market for our city that we can all be proud of.”