Young market traders flock to Stratford

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Young entrepreneurs were out in force in Stratford on 1st September as the National Youth Market took place on Waterside.

The market, which celebrates young traders who are running businesses at markets, festivals and fairs, was open to anyone aged 16-30.

The event was also a competition to find the country’s best young stallholder, who this year was named as Rob Leicester, who runs Warrington Fruit and Vegetables.

More than 40 stallholders took part, selling street food, artisan treats, arts and crafts and handmade gifts.

Stallholder Verity Rochester, who runs the Alcester-based Warwickshire Crepe Company, said: “It was a lovely event, there was great music and a fantastic atmosphere.

“There is a lot of support for young business people at this event, a lot of mentoring opportunities and you don’t have to pay pitch fees like you do at most other markets, which certainly helps young businesses.”

Joe Harrison, chief executive of event organisers the National Market Traders Federation, said: “Congratulations to Robert who the NMTF has crowned the UK’s Young Trader of the Year at this year’s National Youth Market. It was a tough competition, but he beat traders from across the country to take the crown.

“Judges were impressed with his professionalism, enthusiasm, and customer service skills. They were thrilled to learn that he had brought the same offer from his stall at Warrington Retail Market – quality produce at affordable prices.

“With young people like Robert trading on traditional retail markets, I am confident that our sector will not only survive but flourish. He is an inspiration to people who want to turn passion into a profit and be their own boss.”