- Trading at Jubilee Hall Market -

No Competition Please: Why we won’t be returning to Jubilee Hall Market

Should I write this post? Should I be totally honest about what’s been going down at Lolly’s Sweet Treats? Will I sound bitter and more worryingly, ungrateful? They were the questions that have been doing the rounds in my head this past week…. until I started receiving messages from you all asking what days they could come and say hi now that we had a stall space in London.

Then I remembered something my Gramps, Nan, Mum, Aunts and anyone close to me had instilled in me since I was young…. Honesty is the best policy! So here’s the good and the bad about our experience trading at London’s Jubilee Hall Market in Covent Garden.Jubilee Hall Market

Covent Garden’s Jubilee Hall Market is one of the world’s most famous markets. Located in one of London’s most historic districts.It boasts an eclectic mix of Retail Units, Street Performers, Restaurants, Bars and of course Market Traders. It’s a place that someone like me, can only dream of trading.

I was thrilled then, when I was given an invite to trade and offered a place on the Craft Market. Selling my wares and meeting our customers and fans. With our wide selection of Old Fashioned Sweets, our Retro Sweet Jars and our more modern offerings, I felt that we would be the perfect fit for Jubilee Hall Market. A sweet mix ofStall old and new.

Sadly, some of the others on the market were not so excited about my arrival-but let’s focuson what was FUN about my experience!

The weekend, though not “like the old days” as I became used to hearing, was fairly busy. I absolutely loved hearing about the old days; after all Lolly’s Sweet Treats is a business built on nostalgia and I do love my history. If you listen to the old timers, they’re description is not too far from the “Streets were paved with Gold” like something out of Dick Whittington. They told me of the community feel the market had-something it has truly retained.Amy the sheep

There was a gentleman who was shopping with his pet Sheep, Amy. Another had his pet Ferret out with him for the day. Tourists from every continent on the globe talking in dialects I had never heard before. Fashion choices, that whilst not my own, were interesting to see. People of all ages from the young to the older generations of the world whose love of life was still gleaming in their eyes. This atmosphere was electric and an experience like none I have had before…all within a small space in London!!

I was welcomed so warmly by Mark; a trader who had been on the market for just over a year. He makes the most brilliant statues out of metal. The perfect mix of contemporary art and rustic feel pieces. Then there was Monty and his lovely wife. On the market for over thirty years, their selection of Leather Handbags, Wallets and Purses was a treasure trove for buyers looking for something high quality but without the price tag of the shops on Bond Street.

Sadly, though there were, as I say, traders who did not like my presence. I was informed the owner of Toffee Nose, a retail unit at the back of the market had voiced his displeasure. He too sells Retro Sweets. Sold out of plastic containers, similar to those you’d find at your local cinema along with a great selection of Sweetie Gifts- he was vocal that he did not approve of their being competition on the market…. I know right… god forbid anyone 2 businesses offer consumers variety!

I also overheard another trader, a regular at Jubilee Hall Market, who when asked where to buy sweets, swiftly told the customer in question not to buy from me but rather head to Toffee Nose.

Disheartening? Yes….

Annoying? Perhaps…

Despite this, I left on the Sunday evening feeling excited about the following weekend…already planning how I would jazz my stall up for the Christmas period. Bunting, Fairy Lights, Christmas Stockings…. alas this was not meant to be.

The following evening, I was notified that I would not be able to trade at Jubilee Hall Market any longer. I was told that I was a food business and therefore not right…. Hmmm…. Ok…was it not obvious from the outset?
Upon enquiry it was confirmed that the owner of a similar establishment had been listened to;“NO COMPETITION” was the outcome.

Frustrating- YES
Upsetting- YES
Unfair-YES
But, that’s life and also it’s part of business.

It did make me wonder though; What happened to support the underdog? Encourage new business? I’m assured it’s out there somewhere!

So having put pen to paper, or more fingers to keyboard, I realise I am not bitter. I had a great time, met some lovely people and for just 2 days I became part of history. I was a trader in Jubilee Hall; May she continue being a success and be enjoyed by many more generations to come.

To those who were planning to come say hi, we’re sorry we haven’t met yet…. But don’t worry…there’s plenty more to come from us…watch this space!

Have a Sweet Week Everyone xx #teamlolly

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