The East of England regional final for the National Market Traders Federation Young Traders Market took place in Bury St Edmunds On Wednesday 26 July the .
Aged between 16 to 30, the young traders progressed to the regional final after competing in the local heats across the region.
20 young entrepreneurs turned up to compete to win one of the following categories: general retail, arts and crafts, food and drink, and groceries.
A team of local judges, comprised of Cllr Donna Higgins, Cabinet Member for Families and Communities at West Suffolk Council, Sophie Mann, NMTF’s Young Trader of the Year for 2022 and Mike Kirkham, Business Support Manager at Our Bury St Edmunds, assessed the traders on their products, customer service skills, professionalism and how they interact with other market traders.
Cllr Donna Higgins, Cabinet Member for Families and Communities at West Suffolk Council said: “It was a delight to participate as a judge for the regional competition. I was really impressed at the quality of the products available and the incredible talent, dedication and passion each of the young traders showed.”
Jessica Pratt of Morsi’s was crowned winner of the Food and Drink category and overall winner of the East of England regional competition. Jess serves a range of gluten and dairy free treats alongside hot and cold drinks from her mobile food truck. The Morsi’s truck can be found at the monthly Bury St Edmunds Makers Markets and can be hired out for events.
Congratulations to the young traders who won their category in the regional competition:
Helen Costello of The Bottle Bank Co – winner of the Arts and Crafts category
Amanda Hoggatt of Meadow & Woodland Livestock – winner of the Grocery category
Jessica Pratt of Morsi’s – winner of the Food and Drink category
Hannah Evans of Lavender & Lilac Candle Co – winner of the General Retail category
The following traders achieved highly commended awards in the regional final:
Olivia Washington of Olivia’s Curiosities – General Retail category
Sophie Aris of Handmade Galore – Arts and Crafts category
Holly Carr Maskell of DearLove Limited – Food and Drink category
Tiffany Spark of Tiffs Tempting Treats – Grocery category
The winners from the regional final have been invited to the National Market Traders Federation (NMTF) national final in Stratford-upon-Avon over the August bank holiday weekend. The winner of the national final will receive a prestigious trophy, £500 cash and a mobile credit card terminal.
Cllr Indy Wijenayaka, Cabinet Member for Growth at West Suffolk Council said: “It was brilliant for West Suffolk to host the East of England Regional Young Traders competition once again. This is a unique opportunity for young traders to showcase their creativity, talents and skills whilst growing their businesses and network with new and established traders. Markets are a vital part of our local community and economy; hosting events like the regional competition promotes the value of the markets to young entrepreneurs to encourage the next generation to utilise them.”
The NMTF Young Traders Market is a national campaign to encourage young people to trade at local markets. West Suffolk Council supports the event by supplying tables and gazebos, as well as covering insurance costs.