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26 MARKET TIMES • JUNE 2019 Catford’s neighbourly market
celebrates its first birthday
   THE times they are a-changin’ in Catford, South London, and the artisan food market which sets up stall on the pedestrianised Broadway on the last Sunday of each month is one sign of the shift.
But Lewisham Council is adamant that the aim isn’t to create an on-trend destination Borough- style market as more and more young professionals move into what used to be a down- to-earth community in South East London.
The market, which recently celebrated its first anniversary, is all about baking, making and selling local, with neighbours buying tasty home-cooked products from each other.
Deborah Efemini, a project manager for Team Catford which is tasked with promoting community engagement, hit on the idea of a monthly artisan food market and Lewisham Council put the project out to tender.
“We got interest from several operators but I felt what they were planning wasn’t Catford,” Deborah said.
So she decided to go it alone and launch a market that would work well for all the community. It needed to be an event with something for all the family and an outlet for local people wanting to launch or grow food, drink or craft businesses.
Deborah was lucky to have the perfect market location outside Lewisham Council’s main offices. Broadway is a recently improved
pedestrianised street in the heart of the community which hosts a general market, although there are only four or five regular stalls each market day.
The council invested in substantial Vitabri gazebos and Deborah succeeded in recruiting 20-odd specialist food, drink and craft businesses interested in standing the market.
“We have some wonderful businesses and they are all from South London, with a significant number from Catford itself,” Deborah said.
The traders are an eclectic mix of bakers, makers and foodies who share a passion for high quality, artisan food and drink and want to share that passion with the local community.
They pay £40. The gazebos are put up and down for them and they get free electricity.
Deborah organises family-friendly activities such as face painting and there is live music to add to the atmosphere.
There are now more than 20 traders signed up ranging from established businesses to new enterprises and hobby businesses.
And the markets are going from strength to strength, with locals turning up in good numbers and visitors starting to discover the new market too.
A doctor serves up Caribbean cuisine, and fellow traders include a physiotherapist, a social worker, a PE teacher and a former investment banker.
Former high flying banker Rinku Dutt is enjoying a new career selling her home- made Indian street food with the help of her father, Ron, and husband, Neelan. She serves queues of regulars from her converted horse box pictured opposite

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