CORK’S English Market this week officially launched The Start-Up Stall, which gives a rare chance for small food businesses locally to test the market.
The renowned English Market is giving local food-based business start-ups the opportunity to trade in Ireland’s oldest and best food market. A brand new stall, The Start-Up Stall, situated close to the Grand Parade entrance of the market was recently designed and fitted out to the highest standard and will be available for short-term lets, up to six weeks.
The Start-Up Stall was officially opened by one of the most famous faces in the English Market, Pat O’Connell, who cut the ribbon as the first traders, Oh! Naturelle, took up their temporary residency and began trading.
The project is an initiative by the English Market and Cork City Council aimed at start-up businesses retailing products or produce that will compliment, rather than duplicate, that of The English Market’s current offering.
Speaking at the launch, Pat O’Connell, chairman of the English Market Traders Association, stated: ‘Although the English Market takes great pride in its traditional food offering, historically, its very survival depended on the introduction of new and innovative food products. The Start-Up Stall aims to contribute to the markets continuing success by introducing a new generation of food businesses to its clientele, both local and international.
‘It’s a great initiative and has the full support of traders. I have no doubt it will be a huge success.’
Oh! Naturelle are the first traders to launch their offering in the Start-Up Stall. The new locally-based food producer will be selling hand-made fruit sorbets that are free from diary, soya and gluten, suitable for vegetarians and naturally low in fat yet packed full of flavour.
Joint owner of Oh! Naturelle, Louise Ryan, said: ‘We are extremely grateful for the opportunity to sell our product at the English Market, which is not only an iconic and special place, but is a place that is central to Cork’s thriving food culture. The concept of the Start-Up Stall has been developed by Cork City Council and Órla Lannin, Market Manager, Aramark Property, with the support of the traders and is a new departure for the market as tenants usually occupy units by long-term lease.
Speaking about where the idea came from, Alison O’Rourke from Cork City Council explains: ‘This is an entirely new concept to allow fledgling start-ups the opportunity to trade in the market for a period of time without having to have significant capital costs. The English Market is renowned for always developing its food offerings, and encouraging local food entrepreneurs.
‘The Start-Up Stall lettings will be for four to six weeks, allowing eight to 10 new producers the opportunity to trade each year in the market. Potential traders, whose produce reflects the ethos of the English Market are now being invited to apply.’
See www.englishmarket.ie to apply for the Start-Up Stall or for further information.