National awards for West Suffolk’s young traders

Sophie Clarke, of Sophie Clarke Designs who won Best Arts and Crafts with her hand woven interior products and homeware. Photo: West Suffolk Council.

Young traders from West Suffolk markets have been named among the best in the country after winning national awards.

The NMTF (National Market Traders Federation) national final took place in Stratford Upon Avon, last week.

The competition was open to 16 to 30-year-olds and eight young traders had been selected to represent the East of England following a regional competition held in Bury St Edmunds.

On Saturday, August 28, two of those from West Suffolk representing the region won their categories in then national competition.

Sam Green won the Best General Retail category for his key cutting and shoe repair business Bethmonte. Photo: West Suffolk Council.

Sam Green, who trades on Bury St Edmunds and Clare markets, won the Best General Retail category for his key cutting and shoe repair business Bethmonte.

And Sophie Clarke, from Sophie Clarke Designs, in Mildenhall, won Best Arts and Crafts with her hand-woven interior products and homeware. Shoppers will soon be able to buy her designs on the monthly Makers Markets, in Bury St Edmunds.

West Suffolk Council would also like to thank all those who took part in the regional event including the six other finalists.

They were Holly Carr-Maskell, of Dearlove Ltd, selling Dalham Mill Gin, who is due to be trading on Clare monthly market on Saturday, September 18; Ruth Lea, of Bluebell Lane Jewellery business, who will be at the Makers Market in Bury St Edmunds this Sunday from 10am to 3pm; Sophie Aris, of Handmade Galore, selling hand painted glassware, mugs, burners and melts, who trades on Haverhill market and the Clare monthly market; Olivia Washington, of Olivia’s Curiosities, selling fabric and haberdashery; George Lawrence, of Hazel Nurseries, which produces and sells plants, flowers, trees, shrubs, bulbs who trades on Bury St Edmunds market; and Billie Wilson, of Wilson’s fruit and vegetables, greengrocers who trades on Bury St Edmunds market.

The market is a great place to support small businesses growth. The council is making all of the eligible young traders aware of the MENTA start-up grant which is funded by the council and which helps new businesses get established.

Julie Baird, director for Planning and Growth at West Suffolk Council said: “We are delighted to see our local talent recognised in the national awards. The market is a great place for people to start and growth their businesses.

“We are proud that our young traders had this opportunity to showcase their businesses and demonstrate what we have to offer in West Suffolk.

“We are also equally proud of our other young traders including the six other regional finalists and the work they are doing.

“West Suffolk markets offer a great opportunity to new start-up businesses. We work hard to support our traders who provide a wonderful range of products, adding to what our market towns have to offer.

“We are keen to continue supporting and attracting new businesses to our markets in all of our towns. If anyone is interested in finding out about trading on our markets, they should email”.

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