A Chapel Market fruit and vegetable seller and a Whitecross Street food vendor have been chosen by the public as the Islington Market Traders of the Year.
Dave Jackson, a trader on Chapel Market for more than 45 years, and Serpil Erce, the owner of the Sunny Olive Tree stall, were announced as the winners on Saturday 18 November.
They were presented with their prize – £150 off their ground rent – by Islington celebrity Su Pollard and the Mayor of Islington, Councillor Una O’Halloran, during the Christmas lights switch-on at Chapel Market.
Speaking to Islington Now, Dave Jackson said he was humbled to receive the award especially as it was market customers who had nominated him. “I was born just around the corner from here and it’s still a great place to work.” But he also warned about the increasing challenges that traders are facing today. “Even in the past week wholesale food prices have increased – it’s getting tougher.”
Asked why he thought he won, Dave said it was probably because of the “quality of the produce”, recommending in particular the avocados and the “exotic fruits” he has on sale.
Councillor Asima Shaikh, Islington Council’s executive member for economic development, attended the event and congratulated both Serpil and Dave for their service. “It’s fantastic to see so many residents and visitors across Islington get behind our competition by voting for their favourite street trader. It just goes to prove that Islington’s markets are treasured by many people and are great places to visit and shop.”
The competition was launched in May 2017 and a total of 256 votes were cast. The public could nominate and vote for any of the traders licensed at one of the four council-run markets – Camden Passage, Chapel Market, Exmouth Market and Whitecross Street.