Venue can offer top foreign food for thought

Leeza Murina and Stephen Jones, of Mosborough, who are opening a Russuan-themed cafe at the new Moor market in Sheffield.
Leeza Murina and Stephen Jones, of Mosborough, who are opening a Russuan-themed cafe at the new Moor market in Sheffield.

The new markets will have a distinctive and different flavour. About 55% of the units will be selling food and drink.

And as well as the well-known names of butchers, greengrocers and fishmongers, there will be traders bringing Russian, Polish, Italian, Indian, Afro-Caribbean, Chinese and Thai influences to The Moor.

Many of them will be grouped in a cafe area. Among them will be Stephen Jones and Leeza Murina, who are opening Cossack Cuisine as a cafe-deli in the market hall.

Offering “fresh handmade food from all around the former Soviet Union”, they have been making a name at farmers’ markets and other events in the area. Now they are taking the opportunity to move up a gear.

Leeza admits to being “excited and a bit scared. “We started with farmers’ markets a little bit over a year ago and we informed by the council there was the possibility of a stall in the new market.

“We were getting many inquiries from regular customers who wanted to see us on a regular basis and to know where they could find us.

“This seems to have a positive feeling about it in terms of reaching different people. It’s great that Sheffield is so open to new things.”

After years of waiting, existing Castle stallholders are preparing for the big move once the old building closes for good on Saturday at 5pm.

“It’s very exciting,” said Steve Waterall, managing director of Waterall pork butchers, who has been with the family business at Castle for 35 years.

“The building is fantastic. We just can’t wait after being in Castle Market which has deteriorated over the years as has its customer base. We are hoping to lure a few new customers as well as keeping the existing ones.

“There are probably people who haven’t been to the market for years and now have the chance to experience something new and vibrant as opposed to something that was old and on the slide.

“The rents are high, but hopefully by the time the full rents kick in we should be able to withstand them.”

Ian Bingham, of fruit and veg stall Bingham and Brown, and fish stall Binghams, and who is vice president Sheffield indoor market branch of Market Traders’ Federation, said: “Everybody is excited - and nervous because of the unknown. The building is fantastic. We want to get some of the younger end of customers who are going to the supermarkets.

“They have probably never been to the market. Young people like new buildings.

“It’s a lovely clean environment and I think it will attract new customers. Our job is to make sure they keep coming back,” he added.

There will probably be a few drinks - and perhaps tears - as stallholders pack up in Castlegate for the last time on Saturday.

But traders won’t be able to get too carried away.

Many will be working through the night to ensure they are ready for business in their new home on Monday.