It was interesting reading this article in the Belfast Telegraph today about struggling Market traders. As you may know I have a stall in St Georges Market on a Sunday selling my prints, and have spoken to a number of these traders in the article. They all talk about how this month, they’ve had their worst trading days ever at St Georges or that their takings are considerably down, and that sometimes a trader might not even make back the £13 cost for the stall for the day.
If you haven’t been to the market in a while, you are missing out on an entrepreneurial treat. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays are packed with some of the most creative small businesses in the City. It’s essentially the future of Belfast under one roof.
I say that because of the number of market traders who have already branched out with their own City centre shops, such as Cocouture, Treat Boutique, Cakes by James, all of whom have passed through St George’s and other markets on their way up.
A few current traders also supply local shops with produce they have trialed in St Georges market. Flax Fox, Arbee Cards, Suki Tea, and Tee and Toast are examples, and let’s not forget my own designs which now sell in a number of City Centre shops. Without St George’s Market, we wouldn’t be in a position to test our products and discover what sells and what doesn’t.
Although the official title is ‘market’, Saturday and Sundays are actually more like one of those oh so trendy Craft Fayres, packed with crafters, artists, makers, creators, designers, and bakers.
Yes, Saturdays have been disruptive for the last few months, but St George’s Market traders need your support, as do most retailers in Belfast and in fact Northern Ireland. But if you want to help local entrepreneurs achieve their dream and earn their living, and you like your purchases to be individual, unique, local and made with love and passion, then St George’s Market is where you should be.
Go on, support St George’s! You’ll love it!
I should also add a HUGE thanks to those who do come along to St George’s and contribute to the superb atmosphere and who love their ‘local stuff’ ! Your support is appreciated!
Friday Variety Market
Opening hours: 6am – 2pm
Stalls sell a variety of products including fruit and vegetables, meat and fish, antiques, books and clothes.
Saturday City Food and Craft Market
Opening hours: 9am – 3pm
The market offers a huge range of local, continental and specialty foods including meat and fish, cheese, coffee beans, tapas and organic products.
Opening hours: 10am – 4pm
This market is a mixture of the traditional Friday Variety Market and Saturday’s City Food and Garden Market. It also has a special emphasis on local arts and crafts.