Tottenham Market

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We’ve been hoping for a weekly market in Tottenham for quite some time. Not just a random mishmash market; think the kind of beautiful artisan markets in other areas like Greenwich, Brixton, Walthamstow and Hackney. I know and you know, we buy and hang out at these markets, wishing for our very own. And what better site than the new Tottenham Green and what better person than Jessica Vos to run it. Well, the dream came true. We get both. On 28th June a weekly Tottenham market will launch on the green by the woman behind the successful Harringay Market. If there is anyone who can raise local excitement for street food, craft beer and farmers favourites it would have to be Jessica.
I’ve written about one market heavyweight in the area for my market series (part one) and Jessica is most definitely the other and perfect for part two. Below she tells us a little bit about her love of food and why she had to bring her version of ‘local eats’ to Tottenham.
How long have you been working on the Harringay market?   
Harringay Market turns 2 on 24 June, but I started planning it and approaching traders 3 months before that. It’s an unfinished project, I never stop working on it. You have to keep pushing yourself to keep it interesting for customers and traders. But I love my job, I am doing something I love and it makes me happy!
How did your idea initially come about and why? 
This idea just popped up whilst having a conversation with a friend. Since living in London I was visiting markets all over the town, and I wondered why there was nothing like that where we were living. I started small, with a simple idea, and all of a sudden Harringay Market was born! I wanted to create a place where my neighbours could come together and eat, shop, drink, buy good food, and meet other neighbours.
What challenges have you faced?
I guess the weather can be quite a challenge, as it is an outdoor market. The joy on everyone’s faces when we realised that we had made it through winter was priceless! And spreading the word can be a challenge too to those people who aren’t on social media and don’t read our leaflets.
What’s the drive?
The drive is a love of food and everything that is independent, local, seasonal and British! I am obsessed with food!
What area do you live in?
I live in Harringay, on the Ladder, and I love living there because I know so many people there through the market and I really feel at home. It’s a lovely area, with loads of young families and young couples and it feels like a little village sometimes.
Tell us about the Tottenham market? What can we expect?
Expect some good food, drinks, produce, cakes, entertainment and loads of good vibes!
What brought you to Tottenham – why a market in Tottenham?
I have a few friends living in Tottenham who were always asking when I would finally open a market in Tottenham. I had pondered the idea but it wasn’t until I was approached for this by Jonathan Downey (aka TweatUp/ Streetfeast) that I really started thinking about the idea.
Tottenham is changing, we think the time is right for this, and there are a lot of creative people living there who will hopefully be as excited as we are about starting this!
What are your favourite markets and do you ever try to incorporate elements from them in the Haringey market and forthcoming Tottenham market?
Nothing beats Broadway Market on a sunny Saturday, with London fields or Regents Canal nearby to have a picnic and eat all the good food you just bought. A perfect mix of produce, hot food, vintage and arts.
I guess Harringay Market is a smaller version, minus the many vintage stalls.
We have food stalls for people looking to have lunch and something to drink, a nice seating area where families and neighbours meet each other, and for those who love to cook, we have stalls selling bread, meat, fish and more!
Sometimes we have local artists, but the market is well known for its food and produce.
What is your favourite local thing to do on a Saturday afternoon/evening?
On Saturdays, I usually go out early and visit other markets e.g. Broadway market to buy ingredients. I love cooking for my friends! My husband made me a beautiful kitchen table last summer, and it’s there that we all sit, eat and have loads of banter. That’s my favourite Saturday evening thing to do. It doesn’t get more local, than in my own kitchen!
Tell us a story that made you believe that the effort was worthwhile?
All the challenges don’t beat the happiness the market brings me and the new opportunities because of it. I started the market to give people the opportunity to showcase their product and see whether it works. People who can’t necessarily open a shop at this moment for various reasons.
But if I look at e.g. Square Root London, a young couple who live on the Ladder and started out two years ago at the market, I feel very proud. Because their seasonal sodas are now being sold in various shops and cafés in London and they now have their own little soda factory. They are going places!
But they started small at the market, and it makes me proud because this was exactly why I started the market!
What other projects are you working on/what’s next?
I am currently very busy organising and looking for traders for the Tottenham market. Newington Green Market re-opens from September, and I’ve been approached by a French business for a new farmer-customer idea, that’s going to launch in the UK very soon.
What is your favourite part of Haringey?
I’ve recently discovered the Tottenham Marshes, Markfield Park, the river Lea. Unbelievable how beautiful it is! We love going there for a walk!
What shop/place/who is in your survival address book?
At the moment my favourite shop is E5 Bakery in London Fields. I am addicted to their bread and cakes, and travel there 3 times a week to get good fresh bread!

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