Chester’s new market marked its first birthday on 11 and 12 November with a weekend of celebrations and fundraising.
Plans have been published to improve the market, designed to improve the appearance and thermal efficiency of the market hall, support local market traders and help future-proof Ellesmere Port Market for many more years to come. A public consultation is now open until 12 November:
The new Chester Market will open its doors to the public on Saturday 5 November at 9am.
Free tickets will be available for the opening weekend to provide an exclusive first glimpse of the new market; places will be limited and available for daytime or evening entry at: www.newchester.market
Following the opening weekend, the new market will be open with no limits on numbers from Tuesday 8 November onwards; the market will be open six days per week and closed on Mondays. Opening hours will be from 8am to 10pm on Tuesday to Saturday and from 10am to 9pm on Sundays.
As the new market prepares to open, the existing Chester Market in the Forum Shopping Centre will close its doors for the last time on Saturday 15 October, to enable those traders moving to the new market to complete their stall fit outs and prepare for the opening.
The existing market has been in the Forum since it opened in 1967. Throughout the evolution of the Northgate development plans starting in the 1990s, the Council retained the long-held ambition of opening a new market within the scheme.
The new market will be a ‘modern traditional market’ with 40 stalls covering 36,000 sq. ft. providing a vibrant mix of produce, goods, food and beverage traders, with over 400 seats, a stage and screen; designed to provide a stunning space to enjoy all that the market will offer, including retaining the popular foodie nights, events, demonstrations and acoustic music performances.
The multi-storey New Market Parking is currently expected be fully open to coincide with the market.
Councillor Richard Beacham, Cabinet Member for Inclusive Growth, Economy and Regeneration, said: “Opening the new Chester Market will be a huge achievement for the city despite the challenges of the past two years, and the start of the latest chapter in Chester’s illustrious trading history going back to the first market charter in 1159.
“It will also be a bittersweet time as we close the current market in October, it has served Chester well and I would like to thank all the customers and stall holders for over 50 years of support and service. We can be confident it will leave a lasting legacy and its entrepreneurial and community spirit will live on in the new market; with both the many fantastic existing traders transferring, alongside passionate new traders who will bring fresh ideas, and I know they all can’t wait to open.”
For more information see www.newchester.market
With less than five months until the new market is expected to open, Cheshire West and Chester Council can announce the second tranche of traders taking stalls.
Eleven further stalls are now contracted or are under offer to trade, with five taken by existing Chester Market traders, and one by a business relocating from the Forum Shopping Centre.
The line-up includes: a florist, bakery, vintage clothing, hand-crafted cosmetics, handmade stationery, grocery and a zero-waste refill store alongside three food and beverage traders serving fresh pasta, vegan and Mexican foods.
All remaining stalls in the market are under offer and leases are expected to be concluded for all 39 stalls in the new market before it opens in late autumn. Construction work is almost complete, and the fit-out contractor will begin shortly, followed by each individual traders’ stall fit-outs during the summer.
Councillor Richard Beacham, Cabinet Member for Inclusive Growth, Economy and Regeneration, said: “This is a really exciting time for the new market, and I am especially pleased that we have confirmed new grocery traders and a bakery, which delivers on our vision to create a ‘modern traditional market’ for Chester.
“I am equally delighted to welcome traders committed to a sustainable future, like the much-loved Just Footprints store which will move from the Forum and into the new market. There is also vintage clothing, vegan food and a planet-friendly stationery trader too. It’s also really important to remember that while the new market is completed, the current market is still open, and the remaining traders are still open for business and need our support.”
The latest existing traders moving to the new market include:
The first stall visitors will see when entering the new Market will be ‘Lise’ Florist and Flower Garden. Lisa Dean will offer a fabulous colourful display of seasonal cut flowers for every occasion. Her skilled team will be making up hand tied bouquets for immediate purchase or delivery, in addition to this, shrubs, perennials and seasonal plants will also feature on the stand. Lisa will also be transferring her established Purely Pots tropical houseplant stall and opening a new separate stall featuring desert plants, cacti, succulents and pots. Lisa said: “Being able to expand our existing business and offer a wider range of plants and pots to provide a one-stop-shop in the heart of our amazing city, along with a dedicated florist stall, which will be a stunning visual delight as you enter the market, will be an incredible opportunity.”
Existing Chester Market trader, Vegan House will be transferring to the new Market, bringing their passion for pioneering vegan cuisine and proving how amazing plant-based food can be. With a background in street food markets and festival catering Sasha Alexander established his business four years ago and quickly perfected a growing menu including gourmet beef style burgers, classical hotdogs, loaded fries, Doner kebabs, F*sh and chips, chicken style kebabs alongside a variety of small bites, side dishes and healthy options. Sasha said: “Our entire menu is 100 per cent plant based and we carefully select our suppliers by working closely with other small independent businesses in the area to minimize the environmental impact; we believe our cuisine can help our customers learn about plant-based alternatives and the long-term benefits this can bring to both health and the environment. Our menu provides nutritionally balanced dishes for the health conscious, whilst also catering for those who are seeking a little treat and appealing to non-vegans alike.”
Local illustrator Sophie Jackson will be selling her range of planet-friendly stationery using sustainably sourced materials, including greetings cards, gift wrap, stationery, artwork, tea towels, cushions and more. All her paper and card products are FSC certified, all cotton is organic and unbleached, packaging is recyclable or compostable, and everything is made in the UK, as locally sourced as possible. Sophie recently started trading at the existing market and said: “Being able to test out my range at the existing market has really helped give me the confidence and experience to move to the new market. My ethos is to create a place to buy beautiful greetings cards, stationery and home products that don’t cost the earth – eco-friendly never looked so good!”
Lovers of vintage clothes will be catered for by Daily Wares, a lifestyle store focused on providing authentic Americana inspired vintage clothing, and their own brand designs who have just opened in the existing market. Their range will include classic vintage garments such as jeans, hoodies and t-shirts from trusted brands such as Carhartt, Dickies, Champion and more. Established by Joseph Brannigan with a background in fashion retail, previous pop-up shops and selling online, Joe said: “Every piece I sell is hand-picked, ensuring that the item is both of good quality, and fits with my brand seamlessly. Plus, sustainability is key for us at Daily Wares, and by keeping clothes in circulation and extending their shelf life we can reduce the negative environmental impact of disposable fast fashion.”
Another passionate planet friendly stall will be opened by Just Footprints, who currently run the refill store opposite the current market entrance in the Forum shopping centre. They have pioneered the plastic free and zero waste concept and offer a wide range of food, toiletries, kitchen and household consumables that can be easily refilled with customer’s own containers and sustainable gifts. Established by Debbie Groom in 2018 to help eradicate plastic pollution and make everyone’s journey to sustainability easier and more enjoyable. Debbie said: “We believe that if people buy just one of our products rather than buying it in plastic somewhere else, it will make a huge difference; a zero-waste lifestyle isn’t one big, instant change, it’s more a series of small changes over time. It’s not easy and takes time and planning, but trust us, it’s worth it and we will be here to help.”
New traders will include:
Winston’s Cheshire Farm Shop will provide the grocery stall for the new market, providing a key element of the ‘modern traditional’ ethos, bringing the best local produce, locally crafted food and drink into the heart of the market. The business is spearheaded by Chef trio of Phil Bibby, Marta Staszewska and Jamie Thomas and was launched in 2018, focusing on locality, seasonality, sustainability and quality; Winston’s Cheshire Farm Shop hopes to encourage customers to consider where their food comes from and engage with local producers. Alongside fresh produce, their wide range of high-quality Winston’s Finest ready meals will also be available to buy, with ingredients sourced locally to their kitchen. Jamie said: “We are incredibly eager to open and champion the very best of our local producers. We want to create a permanent showcase in the new market, a compelling draw for residents and visitors, craving the real taste of Cheshire.”
The Northgate project team are delighted to have secured an artisan bakery for the new Market. This will be provided by Born to Bake, a popular gourmet bakery established on the Wirral by Michael Kerr, who currently serves both trade and public customers across the north west as well as local Farmers’ Markets. Mike said: “We are thrilled to have been selected for the new Market and can’t wait to bring our exensive and delicious range of artisan loaves and baked goods, such as poppy seed, olive, donker, corn and sun-dried tomato breads to Chester.”
Big Lola’s Taqueria is an exciting Mexican street food concept, named after a notorious jailed donkey in Mexico. They will be serving a menu inspired by the Mission District of San Francisco, including slow cooked beef brisket burritos, roast chicken quesadillas, halloumi and sweetcorn tacos and chocolate caramel churros as well as regular specials. With a dedicated following at their current Duke Street Market home, they have built a reputation as one of the go-to places for Mexican food in Liverpool. Oli Smith, a director of the business said: “We can’t wait for the market to open and are really looking forward to bringing the Big Lola’s experience to Chester Market and serving our Mexican street food in the city.”
Alphy and Becs will be selling a range of handmade cosmetics, skincare, men’s grooming and fragrances, born from a simple concept to keep it simple and natural. They are a family run business established in 2011 by Alphonso Esposito and Rebecca Brierley from Northwich, a musician and an interior designer respectively. They take their inspiration from trips around the world, influenced by the smell of beautiful lands like Italy, Spain, France and further away like New Zealand and Australia. Alphonso said: “All our products are 100% handmade in small batches following ancient recipes and individually quality controlled to guarantee a great product for our customers and no animal testing is allowed. From the making process to packaging and labelling, no machinery is involved, just our hands and love.”
To complement his Mercato Pizza Co. stall in the new Market, Rick Feery will also be opening a live fresh pasta demonstration kitchen called The Fresh Pasta Kitchen, which will offer pasta dishes to eat in the market alongside a deli style counter with a variety of pasta and sauces for customers to take home and cook themselves. Rick and his chefs will be making fresh pasta all day and will have a range of pasta hanging to dry ready for service. Rick said: “I want to create a pasta stall with as close to zero waste as possible, most of the dishes will be made using fresh ingredients cooked in the stall using locally sourced produce from other market traders and to utilise their skills and knowledge of produce to turn them into fantastic authentic Italian dishes.”
More information on the new Market is available at https://newchester.market/
Market traders have been able to get a glimpse of their future with a visit to the new market hall as further traders are announced by the council.
Bradford Council’s Executive has approved proposals to relocate and expand St James’s Wholesale Market into a modern ‘regional food hub’ following an announcement by Bradford Council’s Leader that the existing market site could be the location for a new city centre Northern Powerhouse Rail station.