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Altrincham Market renovation attracts a host of new businesses

PUBLISHED: 00:10 13 October 2014 | UPDATED: 21:17 21 October 2015

Nick Oliver created this view of the market just before its facelift. Why not pay a visit to this historic part of the town centre? To see more of Nick’s artwork visit www.smilecreative.co.uk or ring him on 
01257 427465.

Nick Oliver created this view of the market just before its facelift. Why not pay a visit to this historic part of the town centre? To see more of Nick’s artwork visit www.smilecreative.co.uk or ring him on 01257 427465.

Archant

There’s a resurgence of energy in Altrincham, with an influx of new businesses bringing passion and enterprise

Altrincham Market; Sam Pugh, Claire Price, Jennifer Thompson, Kevin White and Kate Goodman Altrincham Market; Sam Pugh, Claire Price, Jennifer Thompson, Kevin White and Kate Goodman

Markets can be the ‘crucible of enterprise’ says Altrincham entrepreneur Nick Johnson.

‘The proposition I pitched to Altrincham was that, as an original market town it should have an ambition to become the modern market town with, at its heart, a modern market,’ said Nick, the former Atlas Deli and Urban Splash director. He and his partner Jennifer Thompson have revived the listed market building with the aim to bring back the true spirit of a market town, one which has been hit hard by the Trafford centre and recent recession.

‘I firmly believe in the vitality, potency and relevance of markets both as a vibrant real time experience, as opposed to sanitised convenience shopping or clicking online, and as the crucible of enterprise,’ said Nick.

The couple, who live in Altrincham, bid on the building last year and have worked closely with Altrincham Forward and Trafford Council on the sensitive restoration of the building and construction of the new canopy of the more traditional outside market. ‘We’ve tried to go back in time within the market house and use the original style panels instead of roller shutters,’ said Jennifer. ‘We have also chipped off the layers of paint from the walls to find the original colour scheme. This is our hometown now and we wanted to do something here. There are so many amazing food producers in the North West and that needed to be celebrated.’

Altrincham Market Quarter Altrincham Market Quarter

Inside the market house, which was due to open as this issue of Cheshire Life went to press, there will be a handful of permanent high quality traders from around the region, all experts in their trade and they will offer a six day-a-week ‘refectory’ style eatery space. Kate Goodman, who owns the West Didsbury wine shop Reserve, will expand her operation into the Market House. Kate, seen on BBC Two’s Food and Drink programme with Michael Roux Jr, will be the exclusive wine supplier combining knowledge and a range of quality wines available by the case, bottle and glass.

‘When I met Nick and Jennifer, it was inspirational. I think it is a great concept – fresh, new and exciting,’ said Kate. ‘I love the specialist aspect and that we will all compliment each other.’

‘For me, the idea of being able to sell wine by the glass is a great interest. I hope to make daily wine and food match-ups with the other traders. Nothing is better than tasting wine with people.’

Kate is pairing food and wine pairing with The Ginger Kid aka Kevin White. Professional chef, Kevin, has had over 25 years’ experience in the food industry.

Altrincham Market Quarter Altrincham Market Quarter

‘I worked in London for a while but moved back north looking for a permanent work space,’ said Kevin. ‘I ended up finding a unit in Macclesfield and trading in markets. I met Nick and Jennifer as I used to have a stall at the outdoor market here and what I do fits with their idea for the Market House.’

Kevin has now left his lease in Macclesfield and the Market House will be his first permanent kitchen for his seasonal, hand crafted dishes. He will also be serving coffee from coffee house J. Atkinson & Co.

‘My menu will evolve and change every day from breakfast through to evening,’ said Kevin. ‘I am just excited for it to open now, so we can see all the infrastructure and ideas finally fall into place.’

Another artisan producer who is finding their first permanent space within the Market House is Sam Joseph Chocolates. Made up of Sam Pugh and his partner Claire Price, Sam Joseph began when the duo, met in Manchester as pastry chefs and moved to London for work. After deciding they had worked in the hotel industry for too long, the couple moved back north to start their own business.

Altrincham Market Trader statue Altrincham Market Trader statue

‘We have a kitchen in Manchester, where we produce all our chocolates and goods,’ said Claire, from the Wirral. ‘Our foot in the door getting our products to the public was via markets, and we liked the atmosphere of the outdoor one in Altrincham. This will be a nice balance having a permanent space but still with that market vibe.’

‘With anything that’s new, you’re a little unsure of how it will go,’ said Newcastle-born Sam. ‘There seems to be a buzz around it though which is good, and the outside market has really kicked off since Nick and Jennifer took over.’

The pair will also serve their hot chocolate and ice cream, and in time hope to have demonstrations, chocolate making and decorating classes.

Walk a short distance from the market and you will see Goose Green, a hidden quarter of Altrincham that houses an array of bars and restaurants. The newest establishment to join this area is Trader’s, Altrincham’s first Tiki themed bar. Owned by brothers Anthony and Edward Prophet, they are excited to bring this concept to the town. ‘This is more than just a bar, it’s an experience!’ said Managing Director, Anthony. ‘It’s a fun, relaxed environment and I want those who visit to feel like they’re on holiday.’

Old Market Place, Stocks and Whipping Post Old Market Place, Stocks and Whipping Post

This is the brothers’ second bar as they already own Waikiki cocktail bar in Chester. They built the place themselves, taking around three weeks to create a beach hut, Polynesian vibe before opening in August.

‘The timing was right for Trader’s,’ said Anthony. ‘We want to build this as a brand. Here visitors can enjoy VIP booths, table service and fantastic drinks such as the Krakatoa volcano or Rubin’s Rum Punch which is served in a treasure chest.’

Edward, a world travelled mixologist, has brought his expertise to Trader’s so that everyone can have a taste of exotic cocktails. ‘Anthony and I have a great partnership and skills so it made sense to do something together,’ said Edward. 
‘With his experience in marketing he gets people in, and then I give them a reason 
to return.’

‘We are both loving every minute of it,’ added Anthony. ‘It’s been such good fun. The people in Altrincham are fantastic, and we just wanted to add value to Goose Green as the destination to eat and drink. It’s a hidden gem in Altrincham.’

www.altrinchammarket.co.uk

Belgian styling

Bowdon-born Shelley Welch is bringing a touch of classic, timeless Belgian style furniture to Altrincham homes. Behomecollection.com is an interiors and furniture online store created by Shelley and her business partner, Barbara Beuker. ‘We The two of us met in London when working for design and build companies there,’ said Shelley. ‘Our passion for interiors and in particular Belgian products inspired us to create our own business.’ Now living in Hale after starting a family, Shelley hand picks hand picks the bespoke products listed on her website which are then shipped directly from Belgium and delivered direct to the client.

‘We launched in Spring 2013 and there has been a great interest not only in the Cheshire area but around the UK,’ said Shelley. ‘Belgian furniture and interiors are timeless and understated, often with a muted colour scheme but full of texture. You can add a splash of colour to break it up and it also works well with contemporary art. It creates a lifestyle and people want that look.’

Shelley said:, who recently had a pop-up shop at the Yard in Alderley Edge, stocks a variety of furniture from luxury Belgian linen to unusual armchairs and rustic wooden stools: ‘I want to break the barriers of what people have and get away from the high street. Behomecollection.com is high quality, understated and simple but it has lots of character.’

On to new ventures

Charlie Oulton, formerly of of the furniture company The Halo Group, has recently launched gone onto new pastures with his new company Foam Comforts. Halo was originally founded in Altrincham by his father, Major Philip Oulton in 1976, developed from a love of fine furniture and attractive antique pieces. After running the company with his brother Tim, Charlie moved on to become only a shareholder in Halo and has begun a new venture selling quality, bespoke mattresses. The Foam Comforts team, which consists of Charlie, Dr Samantha Jackson and Lance Bray, have developed the N-Rem Sleep System mattress.

They state it is the world’s first comfort and support changeable mattress: ‘Your life will change over ten years, but your mattress doesn’t,’ said Charlie. ‘The good thing about the N-Rem is that you can change it to adapt to your lifestyle.’ The mattress, which starts at £595 for a single, consists of a series of tablets all with different densities ranging from super soft to firm, which you can continuously rearrange to create your optimum comfort level.

‘We want to encourage people to have a quality sleep, not just the length of time you sleep,’ said N-Rem inventor, Lance. ‘With this we can meet the comfort levels of different people.’ www.nremsleepsystem.com

Famous faces

Altrincham is the birthplace of a number of notable figures including England cricketer Paul Allott and television actress Angela Cartwright, and was also the home to Victorian illustrator Helen Allingham. Ian Brown and John Squire of The Stone Roses both attended Altrincham Grammar School for Boys.

Military Hospital at Dunham Massey

The remarkable history of World War One is brought back to life at Dunham Massey. In 1917 this Georgian home became an auxiliary hospital, a place of refuge and recuperation s for casualties of trench warfare in France. Now, tIn this recreation the grand furniture has once again been replaced by hospital beds in the Saloon, including one of the original beds used in 1917. Visitors are also told in various displays how operations took place, including brain surgery by the grand staircase. Definitely not to be missed.

Tel: 0161 941 1025, www.nationaltrust.org.uk/dunham-massey

While in Altrincham:

Visit

Dunham Massey

Located just outside of Altrincham, this glorious Georgian House is set in a 300 acre deer park. Visit and learn about the vast history and enjoy a stroll in the stunning grounds and neighbouring village.

Dine

Francs

If you’re hungry after exploring Altrincham, Francs is the perfect bistro to enjoy delicious French food accompanied by a good glass of wine. Tucked in the corner of Goose Green, their great value menu has something for everyone.

Tel: 0333 123 3954, www.francs-altrincham.com

Stay

Mercure Altrincham Bowdon Hotel

This hotel has 87 rooms, swimming pool and a health club. It also has excellent travel connections being close to the M56, M6 and Manchester Airport.

Tel: 0161 928 7121, www.hotels-altrincham.com

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