Page 8 - MarketTimesAugust2016
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And that can-do, hands-on approach is already paying dividends.
“We can have as many as 135 stalls on a Wednesday, and up to 150 on a Friday,” Darren said.
He is trying out the use of pop-up gazebo stalls, a pilot that went really well. And the council is looking to invest in new stalls, a move which can’t come too soon for some traders who say the current canopies let in the rain.
The review also looked at rent and holidays, leading to a proposed increase in rent, which has not gone up for six years, and a reduction in the number of weeks off holiday traders are allowed.
Unsurprisingly, this did not go down well with traders. Discussions are ongoing and
compromises are likely on both sides.
But Darren said he feels strongly that the
traders need to be committed to St Albans and spending weeks away at shows or on holiday wasn’t in the best interest of all the market stakeholders.
Liz said: “The council does respect the traders and listen to their concerns. After all, they are the most dynamic and agile business people about. They react to changes quicker than the big stores can and they know this market better than anyone.”
So far the market project is doing well. New traders have come on board and there is a waiting list of traders.
One relatively new trader is Jackie Vine who has been selling the beautiful fused glass
designs she makes herself on the market for two years now.
This type of product is bang on the mark for affluent St Albans, as is the street food section that Darren has built up over the past couple of years.
There is everything from Brazilian and Caribbean food to a new vegetarian stall testing the water and a popular waffle stall at the opp- osite end of the market which set up stall in June.
Chef Richie Abalayan and his wife Leony have taken the plunge and started their new business on St Albans market because of all the good things they have heard about it.
It’s early days, but for any fledgling business like Richie and Leony’s, there are few better market places than St Albans.
  David Rich, a fashion trader with 40 years’ experience on markets, began trading at St Albans three years ago and rates the market
Jackie Vine’s beautiful fused glass creations sell well at the up-market market
 FACTS & FIGURES
 l Market Days: Wednesdays and Saturdays
l Market Rent: £37 on Wednesdays and £47 for Saturdays
l St Alban’s claim to fame: Named after Britain’s first martyr, St Albans dates back to Roman times when it was called Verulamium was was the second largest town after Londinium. It was important as the first coaching stop to or from London, which accounts for the large number of coaching inns. It was an important electronics centre between the two world wars. Nowadays tourism is important and many locals commute to work in London.
 Richie and Leony Abalayan recently started their waffle business on this market
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