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Meet the new operators of Catford Food Market

The Council is thrilled to announce the Food Market Company as the new operators of the much-loved Catford Food Market, which is back in action this Sunday 26 May.

Over the last decade this market has attracted visitors from all over London and beyond and has helped put Catford on the capital’s thriving food scene map.

Meet the Food Market Company

Will and Charlotte from the Food Market company

Charlotte and Will from the Food Market Company

The new operator is the family-run organisation, the Food Market Company.

Charlotte and Will are a brother-sister duo, and the creators of various markets, such as the popular weekly Food & Farmers’ market at Beckenham Place Park. They bring unique and extensive experience to creating ‘destination markets’, full of delicious foods, local artisan products and great atmosphere.

Having both grown up in South London, and with Charlotte having lived in Catford for seven years, they have first-hand knowledge about what makes Catford so special.

How did you get into operating food markets?

As lifelong lovers of food, flavour and good times, we fell in love with the street food scene and in 2018 decided to make our dream of opening our own street food stall specialising in Buffalo Chicken Wings a reality. We served up our first portions in Surrey Street Food Market in Croydon and for the next two years, went on to roam every market we could get into across London. We absolutely loved this time in our lives and learnt more about running a business and what makes a market special than we ever thought possible.

In 2021, with the first pandemic lockdown behind us and the summer months ahead, we put our skills, knowledge and gumption to the test and opened our very first market in a school playground in South Norwood. We set out to create a trader-friendly market that prioritised local businesses who were looking for a platform to either launch and or trade locally to the community.

In 2022, we launched a weekly Food & Farmers’ market in Beckenham Place Park, which has been successfully running for two years in the borough of Lewisham as well as recently relaunching another monthly market in South Norwood, returning to where it all started for us.

This year we have made the Food Market Company our full-time occupation and we're really excited about what the future holds.

Beckenham Place Park 3

Food & Farmers' market at Beckenham Place Park

What do you love most about running markets?

It's all about the people for us. With each new venture, our values and priorities remain the same, to create a hub for the community where people can meet up with friends and family.
We love building relationships with all our talented and passionate traders. Learning about their stories, how they got started and the people behind the food.

What excites you about this new chapter as the operator of Catford Food Market?

We both grew up in South London and Charlotte lived in Catford for seven years, so we are honoured to be taking over such a brilliant and well-established market. We are excited to build and grow on the great foundations that are already in place.

Each of our existing markets are a true reflection of their surroundings, which we achieve through an ongoing commitment to ensure a minimum of 50% of all of our traders are based within the borough.

What is your go-to food or drink at a food market?

Will: I struggle to keep it down to two meals when we visit any market! I'm always seeking out Caribbean food, a portion of dumplings and a savoury pastry of some description.

Charlotte: I've never been good at making decisions so when faced with such delicious and diverse food offerings at street food markets it's all about the sharing for me and convincing my friend, family or business partner/brother to go half and half numerous times(!) so I get to taste it all! Harlem's bao buns would always have to be factored in though and finishing the day off with one of Almada's Pastel de Nata trying out their flavour of the month. And of course, starting off the day with some of Ed's breakfast bakes. On a summer's day Rhum Arrange rum punch is a must!

Clock Tower markets 2

The Clock Tower Market which Charlotte and Will relaunched earlier this month as new operators.
It runs once a month (second Saturday of the month) in South Norwood, Croydon.

What is Food Market Company’s commitment to community representation, diversity, and sustainability all about? What does that look like in practice?

We’re so lucky to operate our markets within south London, where diverse cultures permeate every corner of each community. We’re dedicated to help preserve and support these vital communities by providing a launch pad for new businesses.

We want to create a platform to demonstrate and reflect the diversity of the community our markets operate in. Feeding the community through great local traders, gives us real satisfaction.

What are some of the tasks with operating a market that the community might not expect?

A big part is ensuring we have the best line-ups and local traders. It is about research, trying the best emerging street food businesses across south of the capital.

What is a market success story that you’re proud of being a part of / facilitating?

One of the things we’re most proud of is helping grassroots businesses develop and grow.

At our very first market in South Norwood, local couple Gareth and Justina launched their cheese business at South Norwood Market. They have since gone opened a fantastic cheese and wine shop on South Norwood High Street. They have never forgotten their roots and still trade with us monthly at Clocktower Market in South Norwood, serving up Cheese Toasties.

Catford Food Market stalls

Catford Food Market

Do you have any exciting plans for Catford Food Market?

We are committed to preserving all the great things that the people of Catford already love about Catford. The great food, vibes and a welcoming atmosphere for friends and families to spend a Sunday afternoon.

We are delighted to introduce a new initiative for anyone living within half an hour of the market site who have an idea or passion project that they would like to turn into a business.

To help this idea become a reality, we will offer support and advice where we can as well as giving them a platform to trade. This idea came about from our own experience, understanding how difficult it can sometimes be to get a business off the ground and to get that first market stall.
For anyone interested, please get in touch with thefoodmarketcompany@gmail.com

Additional details

When: last Sunday of each month, between 10am-4pm

Where: Adenmore Road (between Catford and Catford Bridge train stations), Catford SE6 4FD

@CatfordFoodMarket on Instagram for more updates.

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