If you were at the Haringey Food & Drink Festival last September you probably remember the fantastic atmosphere at the Tottenham Green Market: a crowd of people enjoying themselves, great food flying off the stalls, live music lifting up the mood and face painting and a bouncy castle keeping the children entertained.
We’re expecting nothing short of that again this Sunday, when the market celebrates its first anniversary.
Over the past year, Tottenham Green Market has gone from strength to strength, having already become an essential part of a vibrant local community.
Market founder, Marika Gauci set up the market after being approached by Haringey council, who were impressed by her previous success with the market in Chestnuts.
Marika soon discovered that support for a similar thing in Tottenham was strong. An initial temporary market tested well, and it was granted permanent permission to stay in June 2016 – after more than 150 residents overwhelmingly logged their support in favour of keeping it.
“I feel success every day, getting a trader I really want, getting some great feedback, press, likes – and just seeing a happy, buzzy market, just seeing people come out and have a good time,” Marika says.
What’s on offer every Sunday is quite a treat. Stallholders rotate each week, selling a variety of food, including steak sandwiches, (Angostura), Thai treats, (Tangys Tasty Stuff) burgers (Burger Bear), Chinese/British dumplings (The Ugly Dumplings) and pie and mash (The Young Vegans), to name just a few.
With produce from Tottenham’s very own Wildes Cheese once a month, cakes from the delicious Prestige Patisserie, and a weekly round of coffee from Craving Coffee, it gives more than enough reason to get up and out of the door on a Sunday morning.
“It has a special vibe,” says Fiona Stone, one of the site managers. “We have such a broad mix of locals: churchgoers, football fans, old school locals and people that have moved to the area more recently. It’s a real mix.”
In fact, she says, many of the stallholders who are new to Tottenham are blown away by how friendly and community spirited the market is, and they always want to return.
The journey to permanent market has been challenging, but it is working and the successes are evident.
In September, when the market held the first ever Haringey Food & Drink Festival, attendance was “insane”, Marika recalls. Some stalls sold out of food in two hours, having to taxi in more produce to cook. Beavertown sold out of beer. Crowds of people came out and they were clearly enjoying themselves.
“Tottenham should have equal access to fresh good artisan food just like Muswell Hill, Highgate, Alexandra Palace and Green lanes. People shouldn’t need to travel far to get basic organic veggies or meat.”
She says the first anniversary will be a party to also say thank you to the community for supporting the market to get where it is.
It will feature local bands, DJ’s, funfair rides, face painting, a bouncy castle, a mini beer festival and lots more street food stalls (they are making plans to not run out of food this time).
Going forward, Marika says she wants to establish Tottenham Green Market as a place where you can buy local organic vegetables as well.
She’s hoping to start working with London Grown, an urban farm on the edge of Haringey and Enfield, in June this year. (If you want to know more about this innovative project, you can read about them here.)
“It is very exciting. I will make a huge song and dance about that,” Marika says.
“I do feel that Tottenham people should have equal access to fresh good artisan food just like Muswell Hill, Highgate, Alexandra Palace and Green Lanes. People shouldn’t need to travel far to get basic organic veggies or meat.”
If you are a regular at the market, its first anniversary is a must-do this Sunday. If you still haven’t visited it, waste no more time: there’s a passionate team behind the planning who are working hard to deliver something special for the local community.
Words: Dannie Price
Photos by Warren Cooper and Discovering Tottenham