Page 40 - Market Times June 2021
P. 40

and when he heard the market needed a new fruit and veg business he decided to give it a go,” she said.
It has proved a good move for Kevin, and Heather said she loves Thursdays when she helps out on his stall.
“I’m from Brandon and I remember the days when this market was really busy years ago, so it is great to be working here now it has revived,” she added.
Some new recruits are new to market trading and took the opportunity to dip their toes in the water when the pandemic struck.
Others are established traders whom Sharon persuaded to give Brandon a go.
Jo Stewart and Julie Jervis are both new to market trading and are loving it, whilst Lekky Perry is a regular on Bury St Edmunds market with her mouthwatering Thai food, and was persuaded to start trading in Brandon, where she lives.
Jo, who started a market business selling eco household products and refills, said: “I live in Brandon and shopped on the market. I am passionate about the environ- ment and use green products myself, but realised that was nowhere to buy them in town.”
She decided to start selling them on the market last August and now has a good business.
Julie has been a keen knitter and crocheter since she was a child and took
 Sharon sprang into action and approached traders at the council’s other markets, in particular Bury St Edmunds which has a successful two days a week market.
“Thursday didn’t clash with any markets nearby so it was a matter of twisting traders’ arms and begging and cajoling them into giving Brandon market a try,” Sharon said.
It definitely helped that the council was offering, and continues to offer, free rent.
Enough traders were willing to try the market, and it was soon miraculously transformed into a thriving concern.
These days the original two stalls have been joined by a great cheese stall, fashion, pound products, wool, a green products and refill stall, plants — and a caravan complete with awning and tables and chairs run by the local church and offering tea, coffee and company for locals, many of who faced anxiety and loneliness in COVID-19 times.
Sharon said: “It hasn’t all been plain sailing. We have had to keep working hard, especially on social media and Facebook marketing the market and trying to keep the interest going.”
She believes the coming months will be particularly challenging as more and more people return to work and may fall back into convenience shopping.
But the success of the market has met with “brilliant” feedback for the local
community, and the town centre has also received a boost thanks to a rejuvenated market, Sharon says.
“We have tried to complement the town centre. There is a very good butchers and bakers, so we haven’t doubled up on that offer, but the pound products stall has done well, for example, because there are no pound stores in Brandon and people like being able to buy small items like string or cable wire in the market,” Sharon said.
The traders have upped their game and are grateful and impressed by everything that has been achieved in Brandon.
Fresh fish man Mick Whittingstall has run Coast to Coast, bringing fresh fish from Lowestoft to markets in the area, for the past 26 years.
“We have been one of two regular stalls on this market for the past 12 years,” Mick said. “It was sometimes a struggle here but as soon as Sharon got going and the market started getting publicity and growing our takings doubled.”
He said that although the market was now a little quieter as people had returned to offices, it was still busy and new customers were sticking with the market.
Heather Guest, who works for the new fruit and veg business run by Kevin Badgery after the long-established greengrocer, Mark Paverley, retired, said trade was good..
“Kevin has done a lot of different things
  Heather Guest loves her job working for the new fruit and veg man on the market, Kevin Badgery
 A fresh fish seller on markets for 26 years, Mick Whittingstall of Coast to Coast is pictured with his assistant Josh Orton on Brandon market which he has stood for the past
12 years

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