Some of East London’s markets have undergone huge transformation in recent years as foodies and fashion entrepreneurs use them as a business launch-pad.
Rising rents mean traders who may previously have taken on a shop-unit to establish their businesses are increasingly braving the early mornings and often inclement weather.
Many of today’s market traders boast thousands of social media followers, are marketing-savvy and have their own websites.
Basil Fansa, a founder of the Local Buyers Club, said: “We’ve spent a lot of time visiting East London’s markets in recent weeks and talking to traders and have been blown away by the quality of the food and products on offer. These markets are the very best place to find cutting-edge traders and seriously talented makers.
“Much of the food for sale is made by foodies who are hugely passionate about cooking and highly skilled. And some of the fashion items are such high quality you’d expect to find them in a luxury boutique.
“Markets have always been a brilliant platform for traders to refine their offering, get to know their customers and save enough money to take the next step but this new breed of trader is incredibly tuned in to creating and marketing their brand.”
Among the traders making their mark at Broadway Market are Deeley’s (home of the famous “Macbeth” haggis toastie), CARV London (selling stunning handmade, minimal and aesthetic leather accessories), Temaki Bros (sushi handrolls) and Spore Boys (wild and exotic mushroom risotto).
At nearby Chatsworth Road, you can taste delicious Ghanaian street food courtesy of Chalé! Let's Eat and yummy wraps courtesy of Souvlaki Street.
Today’s London markets are a far cry from those chronicled by author Charles Dickens. In his iconic novel Oliver Twist (1838), he described a “stunning and bewildering scene: “The ground was covered nearly ankle deep with filth and mire: and a think steam perpetually rising from the reeking bodies of the cattle and mingling with the fog.
“Countrymen, butchers, drovers, hawkers, boys, thieves, idlers and vagabonds of every low grade were mingled together in a dense mass.”
Local Buyers Club members are offered discounts at many of East London’s best market stalls as well as dozens of local shops, restaurants and cafes.