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Night sessions to be part of Archway Market growth

Plans are unveiled for Navigator Square traders to open late in midweek

13 March, 2020 — By Sam Ferguson

Founder Stephanie Smith at the market

AN outdoor weekend market has celebrated 14 years in business by revealing plans for midweek night markets, local work experience placements and ­cargo bike deliveries.

Archway Market started life in February 2006 at the Archway Mall, a stone’s throw away from its newer Navigator Square home.
But with the land sold after 18 months the traders found a new home on Holloway Road, where the market thrived for 10 years, before ending up on Navigator Square after works finished on the old gyratory.

“It’s a tale of survival,” said market founder Stephanie Smith. “It’s been tough, but we’re market traders so we struggle on through.

“There was a time when we were on Holloway Road that the roads were closed on weekends for the roundabout works. Archway became a no go area for two years. But we struggled on through.

“Even now we face issues. The last three weeks we haven’t been able to open because of the wind. It has been hard. I’ve never seen weather like it. We’re windy up here anyway but the weather has just been hammering us.”

With the weather a bit more settled, normal service has resumed for the weekend market, with traders offering hot food, fruit and veg, pastries, home made honey and books, as well as a mobile delicatessen filling up the square outside the Archway Tavern.

But, added Ms Smith, there is room on the square for more traders, particularly once work to connect several electrical outlet boxes dotted around the square is finished.

“We have space for more traders – people can apply on the website or come along and see me,” she said.

“Once the electricity works I’d like to get four or five hot food traders to come regularly.

“When these boxes work it will really help with the fridges for the deli, for example.

At the moment they plug into one of the restaurants. We will be able to have more food traders open on a weekend, which will be good for footfall.”

As well as more food traders, Stephanie revealed plans to eventually open the market on Wednesday evenings.

“We already have a licence to open on a Wednesday,” she said.

“It would be great to get a night market going, and catch custom from commuters at Archway underground.”

Ms Smith added: “The Archway Tavern reopening is really good news. I’ve always had faith that it would reopen eventually. It will be great for the market too.”

Another planned expansion includes electric cargo bike deliveries, thanks to a grant from Clean Air Archway, and giving more opportunities to local youngsters.

“I’m working up a scheme with the Elthorne Pride group from Elthorne estate, said Ms Smith.

“I want to provide employ­ment for local young people. It would be meaningful and interesting work experience, and enjoyable too. This market is like my alterna­tive family. I just love the traders, the customers, the people. Archway market would be nothing without the people who make it work every day.”

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