People who are looking forward to Christmas have already started to go to markets since last weekend in London.
November 11th, I visited three markets to collect stories of the products and listen to the voices of the traders.
1, Borough Market: The biggest and oldest food market in London along by Thames
Stepping through the lovely entrance, I was welcomed by over 100 traders, restaurants, bars and cafes. Borough Market is run by volunteers and local communities, who offer us amazing maps, magazines, cooking workshops, etc.
There are both a group of stalls/shops selling vegetables, fruits, dairy products, wine, etc., and a food court of international cuisines. Almost all traders make and grow their products themselves.
Harry, the owner of a Greek cheese shop called‘oliveology’told me that ‘oliveology’ has been in the market for seven years. Two years ago, their partner-farmer in Greek increased the number of items, which enabled their sales in Borough Market to rise and start to rent a shop instead of a stall.
Harry hopes young people to join a share of ‘love of food’ in the market. “Anyone needs foods, no matter where the person is from. I believe that this connects people around the world.”
2, The Farmer’s Market: A small Market for rare and valuable goods in Notting Hill
The farmer’s market opens only on Saturday morning on the street corner, in which ten stalls each sell different products. Most traders join the other markets or open their own shops on weekdays.
Priestlands Birch’s Lisette de Roche, who spends her time between London and Raddington, West Somerset, sells 100% pure birch sap collected from trees on the Brendon Hills and Exmoor only during March.
Handmade birch products, such as soaps, tea, etc. She suggests young people to visit her stall in Notting Hill or Marylebone Market and try the birch oil, which is good for spots and shaving care.
3, Covent Garden Market: A big mall in the centre of London
If you want to buy something like fancy/gorgeous gift, its brand-shops welcome you with plentiful options, from GODIVA’s chocolates to Paul Smith’s clothing. In the traditional section, The Apple Market and East Colonnade Market are filled with stalls selling cards, knitting goods, etc.
Whittard of Chelsea’s Hanna told me that their sales in Covent Garden was quite important for the whole of the company’s business by promoting their products to many foreign people.
On the other hand, Jems, who has sold her handmade jewelries for 25 years, was worried about the number of local customers that has been declined year after year.
She always hopes many of young people to come to the market…
I would like to wrap up this article by introducing Jem’s impressive message to us. “Stalls each show different goods, artisan technique and tradition, which are all filled with message of the makers.
I believe that youngers can make their knowledge and idea more plentiful by meeting with the products and traders/makers in the market.”