Page 25 - Market Times June 2021
P. 25

MARKET TIMES • JUNE 2021 25 Fingers firmly crossed for a full Young
Traders Market programme this summer
   ONCE again the best of the country’s young retail en- trepreneurs will ply their trade in Stratford-upon- Avon this summer in a bid to win top accolades and a cash
prize in the grand final of the Young Traders Market 2021. The project, now in its eighth year, was devised by the NMTF to encourage 16 to 30-year-olds to
take up a career in the industry. As the Government appears con-
fident that remaining restrictions will be lifted this month the project will almost definitely go ahead this year as originally planned — local events, regional finals and a grand national final at Stratford-upon- Avon’s Waterside at the August bank holiday weekend, spread over Friday and Saturday August 27 and 28.
Being held in Stratford for the fourth time, the Young Traders Market continues to enjoy the full support of the Warwickshire town’s private market operator,
LSD Promotions, and both dis- trict and town councils.
The aim of the whole project is simple according to the NMTF’s CEO Joe Harrison:
“We have a great retail markets industry in the UK, but to make sure they thrive in the years to come we have to bring new blood, young entrepreneurs with fresh ideas on to our markets,” he said.
“This year we have encouraged as many young people as possible to get involved, whether they are would-be traders who want to dip their toe in the water, others who have been trading for some time, perhaps on a part-time basis, and perhaps those who have traded ex- clusively online but think a market pitch could be their shop window.”
Before the big Stratford event there will be no less than seven re- gional finals, and an eighth if a venue in Wales can be sorted out.
You can find out the latest in- formation by going to and clicking on the Young Traders Market panel.
 After 40 years Ken Stevens is hanging up his cheese slice
IT STARTED off as a small stall with a handful of cheeses on Stroud’s Shambles Mar- ket.
Forty years later, Ken Stevens is finally retiring at 66 after running his burgeoning cheese business and also taking the helm at several markets in and around Stroud.
“The business was actually started by my brother but after a few months he moved on and I
decided to give it ago,” Ken said. He made the decision to move from the indoor market to a small stall outside and immediately doubled his takings. As the business grew and his range of cheese and expertise expanded, Ken invested first in a trailer with a built-in fridge
and then in a custom-built vehicle. His wife, Myra, joined him in the cheese van, and their daughter, Libby, is still helping sell cheese. She started aged eight and now at 35 she will continue to manage the cheese business for the local
company that Ken has sold it to. Ken said: “Like everyone we have had our ups and downs. About 25 years ago Stroud got one big supermarket and Waitrose built their biggest store in the country here. The town centre suffered and the market began to struggle a bit.” Ken stepped in to run Stroud Shambles market 18 years ago and under his stewardship it has
“The market is full and we
  Ken Evans and his wife Myra
managed to keep things going during the lockdown as it is mainly food traders. Although the outdoor market space is quite narrow, we got permission to move into the church yard and were able to continue there with five traders,” Ken said.
He has also stood and managed the market at Bradford-on-Avon and Warminster in Wiltshire.
Ken said: “I have worked very
hard and didn’t take a holiday for 10 years, so I have decided to retire to enjoy myself and spend time with my family.”
He and Myra are planning to explore the UK in their camper van after never spending more than three nights in it before. Stroud District Council has put the running of the market out to tender and Ken has agreed to keep going until a new manager takes over.

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