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Cupcake and pie and mash stalls open at Norwich market as business booms

PUBLISHED: 08:04 16 November 2018 | UPDATED: 14:57 16 November 2018

Nick Brewer at the Spanish Churros and Chorizo stall, in their former stall. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Nick Brewer at the Spanish Churros and Chorizo stall, in their former stall. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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A taste for global flavours and desire for a hearty lunch has seen business at Norwich market boom - with stalls doubling, or even quadrupling, in size.

While many around the country have struggled, Norwich market, one of the largest and oldest in the country, has seen a recent revival, thanks in part to an influx of food and drink spots.

The Cuppie Hut, a cupcake, bake and biscuit stall, and Caribbean street food Coral Bay both opened earlier this month, while Walsingham Farms Shop set up shop on Thursday.

The Cuppie Hut was previously based at Tombland, and is run by Melanie Abel and Kim Cooper. The pair said “each day has got busier and busier” on the market, with Bakewell tart and custard and warm chocolates brownies regularly selling out, as well as their Mars corn flake crunch.

A brand new Walsingham Farm Shop has opened in Norwich's Market. Picture: Victoria PertusaA brand new Walsingham Farm Shop has opened in Norwich's Market. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

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But existing businesses are also on the up - Indian Feast, which serves vegetarian snacks and Punjabi curries, is among those which has taken over its neighbouring stall, doubling its size and introducing a seating area.

And since 2017, Falafel and Friends has grown from a double stall to a quad, also expanding its seating area, along with Carys Flowers, which now operates in four stalls.

Spanish food stall Churros and Chorizo is among those on the up.

Photo essay - Norwich Market.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYPhoto essay - Norwich Market. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Last month, it moved from a single to a double unit, allowing it to install a new seating area.

Nick Brewer, who, along with Hugo Malik, set up the stall, said while temperatures were dropping in the run-up to winter, the modest seating zone was often full.

“The stall that we are in now is a little closer to the front, and lets us offer a wide range of deli products, more cooking and now seating as well,” he said.

A brand new Walsingham Farm Shop has opened in Norwich's Market. Picture: Victoria PertusaA brand new Walsingham Farm Shop has opened in Norwich's Market. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

MORE: Boom in number of Norwich cafés, restaurants and food trucks - but city has lost 30 pubs in eight years

Photo essay - Norwich Market.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYPhoto essay - Norwich Market. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

“We’ve been pleased the demand for Spanish food here is so great, Norwich is so accepting of everything.”

He said trade had been strong since they opened last July, and while the majority of business came from those picking up a hot lunch, their sales of deli goods and Spanish food were also a strong source of income.

“We have people who we’ll text to let know about products that have come in,” he said, “and lots of regulars for lunch.”

Bird's eye view of Norwich market. Photo: Jo ClarkeBird's eye view of Norwich market. Photo: Jo Clarke

Two new stalls are also due to join the market in the coming months, though the city council could not yet release details.

Those units that remain empty are often home to pop-up shops - including one now open and run by Sir Toby’s Beers, which has a permanent stall but is running a tasting lounge in its neighbouring unit, which will be open until Christmas.

Other pop-up stalls in the coming weeks include Amaretto Deli, which has a permanent shop on St George’s Street, Ems Sweet Treats, which sells Dutch pancakes, and the Norfolk Vape Company.

A brand new Walsingham Farm Shop has opened in Norwich's Market. Picture: Victoria PertusaA brand new Walsingham Farm Shop has opened in Norwich's Market. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

The market’s newest stallholder

It was a busy first day’s trading for the market’s newest stallholder.

Photo essay - Norwich Market.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYPhoto essay - Norwich Market. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Walsingham Farms Shop opened its shutters on Thursday for business, with a range of pies - some served hot with mash - savoury snacks, hot drinks and a farm shop on offer.

Manager Sam Bagge said they hoped to bring a “snapshot of north Norfolk into the city”.

He said their first day had been a success, with plenty of people passing by and enjoying a hot lunch.

Norwich Market looking colourful in the summer sun.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYNorwich Market looking colourful in the summer sun. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

It has been something of a whirlwind couple of months - the team decided they were on the look-out for a market spot in September, with the ball starting rolling in October.

“We took hold of the lease 20 days ago, and it’s been a mad 20 days getting in and everything set up,” he said.

“We did a pop up stall on the market initially and that proved really successful, so we decided to come and open a full miniature farm shop.”

A brand new Walsingham Farm Shop has opened in Norwich's Market. Picture: Victoria PertusaA brand new Walsingham Farm Shop has opened in Norwich's Market. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

Norwich is ‘so accepting’

Spanish food stall Churros and Chorizo is among those on the up.

Melanie Abel and Kim Cooper from the Cuppie Hut, which has opened a new stall on Norwich market. Photo: Cuppie HutMelanie Abel and Kim Cooper from the Cuppie Hut, which has opened a new stall on Norwich market. Photo: Cuppie Hut

Last month, it moved from a single to a double unit, allowing it to install a new seating area.

Nick Brewer, who, along with Hugo Malik, set up the stall, said while temperatures were dropping in the run-up to winter, the modest seating zone was often full.

“The stall that we are in now is a little closer to the front, and lets us offer a wide range of deli products, more cooking and now seating as well,” he said.

The Cuppie Hut stall in Norwich Market. Photo: Cuppie HutThe Cuppie Hut stall in Norwich Market. Photo: Cuppie Hut

“We’ve been pleased the demand for Spanish food here is so great, Norwich is so accepting of everything.”

He said trade had been strong since they opened last July, and while the majority of business came from those picking up a hot lunch, their sales of deli goods and Spanish food were also a strong source of income.

“We have people who we’ll text to let know about products that have come in,” he said, “and lots of regulars for lunch.”

MORE: 14 different cuisines and growing – Why Norwich ‘United Nations’ Market is the place to eat

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