Grimsby Top Town Market traders promise “unique experiences” and glorious gifts you can’t get elsewhere as the venue hopes for bumper Christmas.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year for stallholders at the market who look forward to the Christmas trade.
The market is opening its doors on extra days to boost business and encourage town shoppers to browse the variety of stalls and special offers in the run-up to the big day. Support local and experience something that online retail and big-name brands don’t offer.
Mother and daughter team Tracy Roberts and Emma Low run ‘That Card Stall’ – a family business that’s been going for 11 years – and say the market offers an experience that you can’t get with big-name brands.
“It’s the most important time of year for us financially and it always has such a nice feel at Christmas,” said Emma. “We get loyal customers returning to us for Christmas and we’d love to see new people browse our stalls.”
Mum Tracy added: “The chats, the conversations, the warm feeling between us and customers – old and new – is what makes it special. Our cards are more unique and offer a more specific range – for example godparents and stepparents.
“COVID-19 has been tough and understandably many of our older and vulnerable customers are staying home, so we’ve felt the pinch along with the other stallholders.”
Scott Currie, who alongside Josh Miller owns ‘The Meat Master’ in the market itself and ‘S&J Meats’ in the food hall, says they’ve had more than 130 orders for turkeys and other festive meats.
“Quality and price together – that’s the difference in what we offer,” says Scott. “We’ve got everything and can tailor packages to beat the supermarkets. All of our produce is British and we source lots of local ingredients too.
“It’s a special time of year for us and we love seeing new and longstanding customers browsing the aisles and supporting us.
“This has been a difficult couple of years and last year was a challenge with all the restrictions in place. Plus, many people were putting off coming out as it was before the vaccines were available.”
Flower power is back at the ‘Groovy Ruby’ stall – where passers-by can watch Amanda Fawcett and Danielle Fairley create beautiful artificial festive flower displays. Table decorations, wreaths, bouquets and trimmings are made throughout the day.
“No two items are the same,” says Amanda. “All our gifts are handmade and we can do anything our customers ask us to make. This is an experience you can’t get in normal shops or online.”
As well as traders and shoppers, there’s a mystery guest among the aisles this year. Customers can lookout for the mysterious Market Elf – who finds a new hiding place every day. His location is a puzzle until it’s revealed on Facebook the next day throughout December.
Customers can revive tired feet and refresh their tastebuds at the hall’s two cafes: ‘A Priest, a Mill and a Ferry’ at the precinct side and ‘Rick’s Snack Bar’ nearest the Wilko entrance.
Shoppers are reminded to wear a face covering inside the market to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
Councillor Stan Shreeve, portfolio holder for finance, resources and assets, said: “Top Town Market is a staple of Grimsby, where people can feel good about supporting local trade while getting those unique gifts and foods you can’t get elsewhere. This year, I ask everyone to consider taking a look at the market and other local businesses, even if it’s for the first time or if you haven’t been for many years. You might be surprised what you discover. After a tough trading year, our local businesses would benefit so much from a boost this Christmas.”
Presents, festive fayre and seasonal essentials at Top Town Market:
- Scented soy wax melts to lift the spirits, from ‘None of Your Beeswax’
- Baby’s first Christmas? Pop to ‘Girlie Gear’ for the cutest of outfits
- Net a novel at bookworms’ paradise ‘The Blackcat Bookshop’
- Warm and wintry bunches of flowers to cosy up any home, from ‘Upsa Daisy’
- Lasting gifts for the one you love at ‘Graham Thompson Jewellery’
- Not easy to gift wrap – but the unique furniture item ‘Woodtique’ will last decades
- Check out Kath’s collection of fine China and rare collectables at ‘K & P Collectables’
- Meat hampers available for all budgets at either ‘S&J Meats’, ‘The Meat Master’, ‘Birketts’ and ‘Carl’s Meats’
- Grab mouth-watering Christmas grub from ‘The Icing Cabin’, including hot turkey and cranberry buns
- Alter your Christmas clobber ready for the office party at ‘Market Stitch’
- Personalised prezzies from ‘Cobblers & Keys’, who sell gifts and can make engravings
Did you know?
The market and adjoining foodhall has 36 businesses selling a variety of goods.
Top Town Market’s Christmas and New Year opening times:
Thursday 16 December to Saturday 18 December: 9am to 4pm
Sunday 19 December: 10am to 4pm
Monday 20 December to Thursday 23 December: 9am to 4pm
Christmas Eve: 8am to 3pm
Christmas Day: Closed
Boxing Day: Closed
Monday 27 December to Wednesday 29 December: Closed
Thursday 30 December to New Year’s Eve: 9am to 4pm
New Year’s Day: Closed
Sunday 2 January 2022: Closed
Monday 3 January 2022: Closed
Tuesday 4 January 2022: Usual opening days/times resume