Cambridge Daily Market
Cambridge may be synonymous for its colleges, cycles and punt tours, but at the heart of our vibrant city is a thriving market scene, which has been running in various forms since the Saxon times.
Originally an L-shaped market stretching from Peas Hill to Market Square, the daily market was rebuilt in 1849 after a fire destroyed much of the area and buildings. But the flames didn’t ruin the traders’ spirit and the market rose from the ashes. Today, the market scene in Cambridge is stronger than ever with a 94 per cent occupancy.
Under the colourful canopies on Market Square you will find the city’s daily market. Home to 99 stalls (100 on a Sunday when a mobile coffee van makes up the century), ranging from one-day-a-week hobbyists to seven-days-a-week three-pitch operators, the main market is an Aladdin’s den of offerings. Here you will find traditional operators including, a fishmongers, butchers, bakery and greengrocers to name but a few, alongside a line-up of stalls offering food from across the world.
Just like during its long history, Cambridge’s market scene continues to evolve. The city council’s Market and Street Trading Manager, Tim Jones hopes to attract more services to the mix – there is currently a cycle repair shop, which is kept busy by the city’s cyclists, and in the past a barber proved a hit. Today, the market aims to be as green as possible with recycling bins now in place for both visitors and traders, while all hot food sellers must use recyclable containers and cutlery only. The market redevelopment project is now in its second stage with traders, stakeholders and the local community soon to be consulted on the future plans.
Whatever the future holds, Cambridge Market has stood the test of time and with so many fantastic independent businesses to choose from, you’ll be glad you dropped by.
Meet one of the market traders (pictured)
Kieran Murdoch, K&M Specs, Market Square
Despite running a successful standalone store in St Neots, Kieran couldn’t resist the lure of a market stall. His self-confessed obsession for eyewear stems from his great grandmother, who lived to the incredible age of 114 with few health concerns aside from poor vision. While studying media at university, Kieran worked in a shop selling sunglasses and became interested in the products. A career in retail continued while he went on to study dispensing optics and manufacturing. Kieran has been trading on the main market for six months and hasn’t looked back. Selling handmade eyewear created from Italian asetate, which is known for being flexible, strong and (almost) unbreakable, here you can pick up a pair of prescription or non-prescription specs or sunglasses for £50. www.kandmspecs.co.uk
Market Square, Market Street
Tel: 01223 457315