Market to set out its stalls along canal

Beth Berry will set up a market at Fountainbridge. '''Picture: Neil Hanna
Beth Berry will set up a market at Fountainbridge. '''Picture: Neil Hanna
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A NEW outdoor market is set to see dozens of traders flock to Fountainbridge to sell fresh food and crafts by the canal.

The continental-style initiative will be run by the same team behind the popular Grassmarket and Stockbridge markets and hopes to boost footfall in the area and have a knock-on effect on local businesses.

And organisers said the scheme could launch in as little as a month’s time after planning permission was granted by city officials last week.

The market will take place on Friday lunchtimes behind the former Cargo bar – now Akva Swedish bar – and will boast more than a dozen stalls laden with food, drink and one-of-a-kind goods such as jams and chutneys.

The move comes just one month after the same team – led by Beth Berry and husband of 23 years Jean Francois 
Toulouze – opened up another new market at Dock Place in Leith.

Ms Berry said: “Fountainbridge has a nice reputation, but this is just to raise awareness and increase footfall. With any market, you have to test the water and find out what works. If the public don’t support you, the market is not going to work.

“I have quite strict guidelines with my markets. We like people to have made the thing themselves. If it’s meat, then they will have raised it on their farm. If it’s vegetables, they will have grown it. If it’s jewellery, they will make it themselves.

“I don’t have the rule that it has to be Scottish or anything like that. My rule is just that you have to be passionate about your product, and you have to know it inside out.

“You’ve got to have a nice balance between food, craft and hot food. That’s my business ethos with the three markets that I run – and if it’s a success, why change it?”

Ms Berry and her husband – of the French Connection Creperie – now run four city markets and insist the Fountainbridge site will offer more of the same, but this time targeting hungry office workers on their lunch break. The new market is the brainchild of property consultant CBRE, which is the letting agent for the Edinburgh Quay site and asked Ms Berry to bring her successful formula to the area.

And Ms Berry said the venture has plenty of room for growth after booming visitor numbers to the ones in Stockbridge, Grassmarket and Leith. The Stockbridge site alone has quadrupled in size over the last few years, while Leith already attracts as many as 24 traders at a time. Local Green councillor Gavin Corbett hailed the move and said he hoped the market would showcase local businesses and organisations.