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Borough market evictions?


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I don't know if anyone has noticed this but there seems to have been a gathering kerfuffle around Borough market in recent months.

Most recently reported in the Guarniad but also featured in other papers:

June 12th: Borough Market evictions leave sour taste among food traders

June 16th: Why were we evicted from Borough Market?

June 18th: Borough Market traders hit back after series of evictions

I was wondering what people think about this. I think some of the traders are a big loss, particularly the Comte Cheese people. You can't say they aren't dedicated to the market after having spent years there selling damn fine comte cheese (and not much else!). To turf them out at such short notice sounds a little discourteous to say the least.

Connected with this is the gradual commercialisation of the market. In particular Hotel Chocolat moving in where Wyndams Poultry used to be under the thinly disguised "Rabot Estate" brand. Also Tony Booth's leaving and being replaced by an utterly vacuous and identikit fruit and veg showroom. Where am I supposed to find cob-nuts, truffles, random mushrooms and wild garlic leaves now?

Of course they have now all set up shop in Maltby Street which is a bit of pain as its an enormous long trek from BM (I recommend bus-ing it out there along Tooley Street). Current management appear to be seeing Maltby Street as some kind of hostile threat, hence the defenestrations. Take my word - given how far it is to Maltby Street it's not a threat.

Now to be fair we haven't heard much from the managements side of the story, so maybe we aren't in possession of the full facts. However as a long-standing customer I would have to say I can't see any possible benefit that can arise from evicting dedicated traders who sell stuff I really value.

Would be interested in hearing what other people think about this, given there's been limited comment about it here so far.

Ta

J

More Cookbooks than Sense - my new Cookbook blog!
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Its amazing that they evict the Comte guys yet Ginger Pig is allowed to stand despite having another shop elsewhere. Elsey and Bents new set up is, IMO, exactly what the trustees want. You only have to look at how it transformed itself from the run of the mill fruit and veg stand on the edge of the market to the poncey decor yet still run of the mill but over priced veg stand with a coffee shop inside. Its an absolute joke.

What the market needs is proper traders dedicated to providing the best available, no matter where else they are set up ro what they look like. If Maltby street were to get a good butcher and fishmongers borough would probably not see me very often at all.

"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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The gentrification of BM seems inevitable, last time I went I could hardly move for tourists and food snappers so I don't think I'll be going again by choice however there are now some really good value food markets popping up all over London.

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As someone who only visits London (and the Market) as a tourist, I have to say I felt very at home there.

I like "proper" farmers and producers markets and try to give my custom to them here in the north west. The Market doesnt feel at all "proper" to me - in many of the stalls and, in particular, the folk wandering round who, in the main, were like me - just tourists not really intent on parting with our dosh.

John Hartley

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Unbelievable, and such a shame. I moved back to NYC from London in December but loved the Comte guys. What about La Fromagerie? I lived there.

Talking about evictions, here is what's going on here in NY when it comes to cheese craziness:

NYS Dept of Agriculture outlaws cutting the cheese

Whether served on a spoon, stacked in a stiletto, or sipped in a stem glass pleasure in life is all about taste.

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Borough Market is owned by a charity, the objects of which are, per the Charity Commission website (excuse the capitals):

THE PROVISION OF A MARKET AS A PUBLIC AMENITY FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE PUBLIC AND THE RELIEF OF THE RATES FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE INHABITANTS OF THE PARISH OF ST SAVIOURS, SOUTHWARK

I suspect that the trustees were advised that they were not charging enough in rents to meet the second part of their remit - even assuming such an exclusive market met the first half...

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