Page 27 - MarketTimesDecember2015
P. 27

Trade was affected when roadworks immediately outside the market took three months to complete rather than the expected three weeks.
Also, a decision by a housing association to demolish Shoreline Flats, the multi-storey blocks whose residents are the market’s main customers, is a worrying development.
Market traders are delighted with their new-look market, but naturally concerned about the issues that are having an impact on footfall.
Rick Lovelace, who sells flowers on the market and is Chairman of the NMTF branch, said: “They have done a really good job on this market but footfall is a worry.”
Joe Clarke, who sells bedding, towels and throws, is also concerned. Joe started his market business after retiring from his health and safety role in the oil and gas industry.
“I wanted something to keep me busy and the market is great. We have met with the management about the need to bring new customers into the market and there were lots of very constructive ideas, so I am feeling positive,” he added.
Traders like Cathy Ashmore, who runs her father, Ron Bishell’s, fruit and veg business, seem
to have a constant stream of customers.
“We have been in this market a long time, and
that makes a difference,” Cathy said. She can remember when she and her twin brother used to sleep on a bed of potato bags under the stall while her father served customers.
In those days they sold mostly the veg they grew. “I don’t do the market gardening any more, but we still get most of our veg from local growers,” Cathy said.
Niche businesses also do well on Freeman Street market.
Andy Watson runs Minimatt Films, a video and recording studio housed in a large unit on the Courtyard. He makes videos and uses a small music studio for bands to practise or record their music. His first assignment on arrival in the market was to make a promotional video for the market, which is on YouTube.
Richard Edwards, who does key cutting and shoe repairs, moved to the market seven years ago to start his own business after working for someone else at Top Town, Grimsby’s council-run market.
He says his business is steady, whilst Vicky Dryden, who started on the market on a six foot table five years ago, is delighted to have been able
to move into her own unit where she sells vintage, shabby chic furniture.
But perhaps the biggest success story has to be Matthew Stevens, who started a small cafe in the market on the 11th of the 11th month of 2011. It was basically him and his mum making breakfasts and cups of tea and coffee.
These days Matthew runs The Courtyard Cafe, a busy, 50-seater cafe serving 1,000 meals a week.
“Last Saturday we served 402 meals,” said Matthew. His business was recently voted the best value eatery in Cleethorpes and Grimsby and he says it has come 12th out of 150 in the TripAdvisor ratings for the area.
Among his employees is Tommy Pritchett, who spent a day in his kitchen through an initiative to introduce the long-term unemployed into work by a community organisation based in the building.
“I could see the potential. I realised he wanted to do this for a living so I took him on as an apprentice,” Matthew said.
With so many good news stories at Freeman Street market, the drive is on to capitalise on these successes and find new ways to attract footfall to this bright, modern market.
  Mathew Stevens, 27 (right), has built a successful cafe business on the market serving more than 1000 meals a week after starting in a small way four years ago. He is pictured with Tommy Pritchett, 20, an apprentice whom Mathew took on after he worked for him for a day as part of a community initiative to help the long-term unemployed into work
Cathy Ashmore (centre) runs Ron Bishell’s, the fruit and veg business started by her father, who was a market gardener in Lincolnshire. She can remember sleeping alongside her twin brother on a bed of potato bags under the stall as a young child. Pictured with her are assistants Leah Thompson (left) and Annette Mills
Vicky Dryden runs The Attic, a vintage furniture business that she started on a 6 ft table in the market five years ago. The business now occupies an attractive unit
 l Market days: Tuesday, Friday and Saturday
l Market rents: Stalls are from £47 to £176 a week, depending on size. A barrow is £12 a day or £30 a week.
l Grimsby’s claim to fame: Grimsby in Lincolnshire was an important fishing and trading port from the twelfth century to the Cod Wars, which effectively put an end to the fishing industry. The town has reinvented itself as the food processing capital. Seventy per cent of the UK’s fish processing industry is based in the town and in 1999 it was revealed that more pizzas are made in Grimsby than anywhere else in the world, including Italy.

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