Outrage over changes to Alexandra Palace Farmers' Market
PUBLISHED: 11:07 16 November 2017 | UPDATED: 11:07 16 November 2017
Angry Alexandra Palace market users and stall holders have expressed their concern over changes to stalls at the award-winning market, meaning there are now fewer hot food stalls than before.
The changes were brought into place for the November 12 market, after Alexandra Palace has changed the terms and conditions of traders using the weekly market at the park next to the famous Crouch End venue.
The farmers’ market has been run independently by City and Country Farmers’ Markets since 2003. It won a TimeOut Love London award in 2015.
There will now be on average 4 hot food and 2 drinks stalls per market, on a rota system. One market user, Dan Knight said he’ll be won’t be visiting. “I won’t be using the market as much now if the changes stay the same. It’ll be more of a dropping in occasionally rather than somewhere that we’ll spent our day,” he said.
The 43-year old who lives on Victoria Road near the Palace is a frequent visitor with his wife and two young children. He said: “It’s just pretty annoying. It’s a really nice thing to go to, we walk across the park, visit the market and have some food. The first time since the changes were brought in, the few remaining food stalls were crowded, and ruined the family atmosphere.”
Michele Wyckoff Smith of Etheldene Avenue regularly visits the market with her family, feels the same. She said: “I just can’t fathom the motivation for this. If the changes stay the same I won’t go and spend as much money there. The draw was the hot food, without that it’s not the same.”
One stallholder, 41-year-old Heidi Kleidon who also lives in Crouch End believes that she could end up losing her dog an cat treats business if the situation stays the same. She said: “I don’t think I will be able to carry on trading if these changes continue. On Sunday people were waiting 40 minutes for food and they couldn’t believe how many stalls were missing. I have a great little business, but if it stays the same as Sunday with reduced footfall, then I won’t be able to carry on.”
In a joint statement, an Alexandra Palace spokesperson said: “Following feedback from customers regarding hot food vendors at the Farmers Market, Alexandra Palace has discussed this matter with City & Country Farmers Market has allowed all to move forward positively and ensures that customers will continue to enjoy the Farmers Market and all it has to offer.
“There have also been concerns raised that Alexandra Palace was attempting to divert visitors from the Farmers Market to the Phoenix Bar & Kitchen, this has not been the case. As a charity we strive to ensure the Park and Palace is a place of recreation and enjoyment for all and are certain that the Farmers Market will continue to thrive here.”
In a separate statement City and Country Farmers Market said: “Hot food stalls have now been placed on a rota system, however City & Country Farmers’ Markets are having on-going discussions with Alexandra Palace on this serious matter. We sincerely apologise to all our customers and friends of the market for the inconvenience. Please continue to visit our market as our stallholders love serving you all every Sunday and their livelihoods depend on your support.”