Established as a market in 1959, the building came as a product of post-war Plymouth. The structure of the building is completely unique with a waved ceiling and no internal beams. Back then, the building was named one of the best indoor markets in the whole of Europe! Holding 156 trading spots made up of a unique mix of old favourites and new businesses to browse, Plymouth Market should always be on your shopping list!
The beauty of the Market is that anyone is welcome, customer or trader. During the past few lockdowns, it has given people the time they normally wouldn’t have had to think up a new business venture. A small ‘daily stall’ in the Market will only cost you £8 a day which is perfect for business start-ups looking to try out their products and understand their target audience. If they do well in the daily stalls, they can trade for more days a week and eventually move up to a main stall. The majority of businesses in the Market are sole traders and they like to keep it this way to support independent businesses and to keep it unique.
The Market is open from 8-5 pm Mon-Sat and closed on Sundays. On Wednesdays, they close at 4:30 pm to give the traders a chance to sort personal errands and appointments. As it is further downtown, in the ‘West End’, there is a large car park situated behind the market for as little as £1 per hour.
In ‘non-covid’ times, they would usually take part in lots of events throughout the year but this year they have plans for just one, the Summer Carnival. The Summer Carnival is a one-day event taking place on the 28th of August where the whole of the ‘West End’ comes together to celebrate the end of summer and the bank holiday weekend with a bustling day of activities, street entertainment and street vending.
We interviewed six different traders in the Market to find out what it’s really like to work at Plymouth Market.
The Pilgrim Shack has been situated in the heart of Plymouth Market for six years. We spoke with Marie, one of the owners of The Pilgrim Shack who told us that she used to work at Pilgrim Pasties Factory making the pasties until the company went into liquidation and she was sadly made redundant. Now current owners, Marie and fellow factory worker Lesley, decided to collaborate by creating their own shop and selling the original Pilgrim Pasties in the Market. The Pilgrim Shack want to make it clear that even though the factory is no longer here, the pasties still are!
Marie told us that when they moved into the Plymouth Market, it felt like they had been there for years. ‘Everyone took us in as if we had been here forever, they were all so welcoming and friendly.’ – Marie
All of their pasties are fresh from the factory each day! They offer a variety of different pasties served hot or cold for you to take away with you as well as a selection of delicious, sweet treats and bread rolls. They can now accept card payments to keep up to date with the customers as not many people carry around cash anymore.
Marie has worked in a lot of pasty shops in her life and she’s not biased when she tells us that Pilgrim Pasties are one of her favourites. Her favourite pasty filling, the lamb and mint, is also a big hit with the customers.
Marie and Lesley have never regretted a moment of being in the Market, Marie says ‘The family atmosphere is second to none and everybody is so helpful and sociable. That is a very rare and special thing to be a part of.’
Trading their wax melts in the Market has proved really successful for owner and founder, Paris and her team, especially during the run-up to Christmas. They feel lucky to be in the Market along with other traders and especially the food stalls and restaurants. The food scene in the Market is very large which means hungry customers flock to the Market in search of some delicious food and then come across independent shops such as Elsie-Boo.
They offer hand-made luxury wax melts which are vegan, made from coconut wax, biodegradable and palm oil free. They have a wide range of scents and colours on offer depending on the season, time of day or your personal choice. We spoke to Sarah who works on the stall and is Paris’ future mother-in-law and asked her which is her favourite scent; she recommended ‘Cherry Lemonade’ and ‘Snow Fairy’. The names of the scents are all unique and fun, such as ‘9-minute holiday’ and ‘Fresh Unstoppables’.
All of their wax melts are hand-made, and they also have an online shop where you can pick out your desired scent/s and have them delivered straight to your door. Along with wax melts, you can buy the wax burner from Elsie-Boo in the Market and Bath Soak Shots which are the perfect gift for any bath lover.
Sarah tells us the thing she loves the most about being in Plymouth Market is the sense of community as it makes her feel a part of something special.
The Market Plaice Fishmongers was founded in the Market 11 years ago by two brothers. Before they came along, the fish market looked very different with lots of individual stalls about two metres wide selling fresh-caught fish and now, The Market Plaice has expanded to take over the whole space.
All of their fish is caught fresh, locally and is of the highest standard. Over 80% of their fish is caught off the shores of Plymouth which means there are no long transportation times and the fish is as fresh as it can be.
The two brothers love working in the Market rather than a retail setting as they love to meet new customers and be able to assist them more easily with choosing the correct fish for their meal or filleting the fish for them.
The day-to-day running of the fishmongers is always the same, however, being in a bustling market means that no two days are ever the same. There are always new people to meet and lots of buzz happening around them.
Sophie, owner and founder of Kawaffle has been trading in the Market for just over two years. She runs the shop by herself and absolutely loves the friendly customers and family atmosphere of the traders.
Kawaffle offers sweet and savoury bubble waffles and is the only place to get savoury bubble waffles in Plymouth!
All of the waffles are gluten-free and there are also lots of vegan options available. Milkshakes are a popular hit with customers too with ice cream from The Yard Farm. As bubble waffles are typically Japanese cuisine, they have imported Japanese branded drinks to have with your waffle. Their best-selling waffles are Choc-a-bloc and Chilli Cheese Fiesta. We were kindly offered a Chilli Cheese Fiesta bubble waffle and we were not disappointed!
Since they have been open, Sophie has been pleasantly surprised with the number of local customers coming down to the Market to shop locally and help businesses that haven’t been open during the lockdowns. Sophie tells us her favourite part about being in the Market is the social side. Even if they are just walking past, customers will often stop to say hello or have a chat for 15 minutes and you just don’t get that with a high street shop.
‘Promoting local brands to local people.’ – Helen, a shop assistant at Fry’s Farm Shop.
Fry’s Farm Shop is very new to the Market having opened on the 12th April. You may recognise the name as it is a sister brand to Fry’s Nurseries in Plymstock. Jamie and Jack are the founding father and son duo and own four outlets in Plymouth, all specialising in fresh, local produce. Jamie and Jack have given the shop a complete refurb from head-to-toe to transform it into a quintessential
All of the products they sell are local brands from Devon and Cornwall which you would usually have to head outside of the city centre to find. Products such as Salcombe Gin, Cornish Pickle Co., Dartmoor Jail Ale and so much more! They also stock sliced meats, sausages, bacon, meat puddings and artisan cheeses from a selection of West
Country farms. Out at the front of the shop, they have a large selection of indoor and outdoor plants, bedding plants and herbs that are all homegrown at Fry’s Nurseries.
As they are new to Plymouth Market, Helen told us that they have really felt involved within the Plymouth Market community and she loves how everybody helps each other out with their own businesses.
Plymouth Inkjets has been at the Market for 13 years, previously owned by Allister until four years ago when he took his final opportunity to serve in the Navy. Paul has since taken it on, but he keeps in contact with Allister.
They specialise in ink refills and compatible ink cartridges and toners. They are unique to the high street as they offer a service that allows customers to buy their ink at a far cheaper rate than buying an original cartridge and toner.
They can also offer basic printer repairs but due to Covid, the customer has to bring the printer into the Market as Paul can’t go into people’s homes for the safety of the staff and customers. Paul has brilliant knowledge of ink cartridges and printers so he can offer a personal and tailored service to his customers.
Before we even asked Paul what he thought about working in Plymouth Market, he immediately said ‘I absolutely love working at the Market. It’s the best job I’ve ever had!’
Plymouth Market, Cornwall Street
Plymouth, PL1 1PS
Contact us: 01752 306551
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