Page 31 - Market Times June 2021
P. 31

Lisa wins top NMTF accolade
for supporting Cottingham
COTTINGHAM trader Lisa Gray’s commitment to the market and her fellow traders has been recognised after she pulled out all the stops to help keep the trader- operated market going through the pandemic.
Lisa, who runs The Little Cheese Pantry on Cottingham and Beverley markets, was presented with the John Carter/Harry Cross Memorial Cup by NMTF president Michael Nicholson. The accolade is to awarded to traders who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to support their colleagues.
John Dyson, the NMTF President-Elect, who heads the trader operation running Cottingham Market, a village near Hull in the East Riding of Yorkshire, praised Lisa for her stalwart efforts over the past 18 months.
“I was unable to trade for quite a while because of ill health and the pandemic, as we sell non- essential items, but Lisa stepped into the breach and did an amazing job,” John said.
“I can’t say enough good things about her and the way she has kept everything going so well.” Lisa began market trading 13 years ago after
her parents, who ran a coffee cabin on Beverley Market, signed her up to run a cheese stall on the Saturday market.
“I had been travelling in Australia for two years and before I got back to the UK my parents had arranged for me to run this cheese stall after traders they knew said they needed someone to run the stall on Saturdays,” said Lisa.
She discovered she loved the market life and decided to branch out on her own with The Little Cheese Pantry.
“I now sell a much wider range of cheeses and
  NMTF President Michael Nicholson presents the cup to Lisa Gray and President-Elect John Dyson hands her the commemorative certificate
I have added lots of different lines such as flour, honey, chutney and eggs, so it has become a bit of a little deli,” she said.
When it became clear than John Dyson needed a hand with running the market because of ill health, Lisa stepped up, alongside John’s deputy Julia Thornhill, who runs a pet supplies business on the market.
“I helped with booking the traders on to the market and taking the rent,” Lisa explained.
East Riding Council made the decision to close all its markets during the first lockdown, but Lisa stepped up to the plate and helped ensure a successful reopening last summer.
“The market had started to dwindle a bit just before the pandemic hit, but we are now busier than ever, with some new traders and a lot of local people starting food businesses and wanting to get started on our market,” said Lisa.
She launched a new Facebook page for the market which has created quite a buzz, and some of the traders started offering a delivery service
which has also helped to reinvigorate the market. Julia, who was also presented with a bouquet of flowers for her efforts helping to run the market, said: “Some good things have come out of these difficult months. I started a delivery service to help some of my older customers and that involved ringing them and really building a rapport. Some were shielding and they really appreciated having someone ringing for a chat
and to place their orders.”
Customers have flocked back to the market as
restrictions have started to be lifted and traders are enjoying an upturn.
Lisa said: “We have certainly added new customers and it’s been good to get regular enquiries from traders and new businesses wanting to come on the market. We now have a different alcohol business on the market each week. It’s gin one week, mead another, and then beer. They are all small local businesses and it means the market has something different each week to tempt people to shop on the market.”
  Lisa and Julia Thornhill both received a bouquet of flowers as thanks for what they did during the pandemic

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