We were thrilled to have been chosen as Cambridge's Market Trader of the Month for June. We thought we'd share the feature with you, so here is the interview transcript and you can read the full story here.
"Cambridge is incredibly fortunate to have an abundance of fantastic market traders and street food vendors on every corner and we want you to get to know each and every one of them! Each month we will be doing a ‘Market Trader of the Month’ on our website, so you can find out a little bit more about the amazing traders we have throughout Cambridge’s city centre.
Our June Market Trader of the Month is Rob Marsden from the olive oil stall The OOO Company.
We are The OOO Company and if you don’t know by now OOO rhymes with zoo and stands for Original Olive Oil…it’s also the sound you make when you try it!
We spent our first year selling our fantastic extra virgin olive oil from my partner Pam’s family farm in Cyprus and we recently added our new lines, halloumi cheese and 6 different flavours of olives. What I’m trying to do is create a new quality food brand which is clean and contemporary and hopefully you’ll start to see our distinctive logo in farm shops and delis as we grow. We’ve only been trading on the market since December last year so we are still newbies really!
My dad was a street trader in London for years and I started helping him from about age 12 so I spent my teenage years on the markets around Camden selling tea towels, wallets, socks and even flowers.
When I started The OOO Company we booked up a few food festivals and people soon started asking where else they could buy our olive oil so I thought it would be good to have a shop window once or twice a week in Cambridge. It’s working out really well as I’m gradually building a loyal customer base who know where to find me when they run out of OOO.
We asked Rob what his working day looks like and he said…
I set off from home in Broughton village near Huntingdon around 7am and after doing battle with the A14 I’m usually in the market by about 8. I quickly unload all my gear and then set off to park the car. By the time I get back to my pitch it’s about 8.40 and I’ll start setting up and I’m then ready to start selling. I set off to get the car again about 3.30 and start packing up about 4, unless it’s busy. By the time I get home after another bout with the A14 it’s about 6pm, then I’ll unload everything and have some tea after a long day!
I’m only on the market once or twice a week but everyone on the market is friendly and I’ve made some really good friends since I started last year. I like being in the city centre of Cambridge and the camaraderie on the market. I was brought up in central London so I’ve always felt like a fish out of water living in the sticks! I love the village I live in but I’m a city boy at heart.
We wanted to know what the best seller for The OOO Company is?
For the first year we only had the olive oil so that was an easy question to answer. Now the olives and halloumi cheese are really going well so it’ll be interesting to see how things pan out. I’m planning to add other food items to the range as we build and grow the company, so the top selling item will change all the time.
We asked what his most memorable trading day was since he began?
That’s an easy one, Christmas Eve last year was by far the busiest and most memorable day I’ve had on the market so far. Lots of last minute shoppers looking for Christmas presents, and my olive oil makes a nice gift for a foodie. Although I love Christmas, I like the summer to trade when it’s nice and warm in Cambridge and there are lots of people out enjoying the sunshine. When the sun is shining, the market is usually busy and it’s always good to be busy on the market!
We wanted to know what advice Rob would you give to someone who wants to become a stall holder?
Everyone wants to see a full and busy market, so if you think you’ve got something interesting or different to sell then just give it a go. You can always pop in and ask current traders for tips or advice, everyone is very helpful and encouraging so don‘t be afraid to ask if you have any questions about market trading.
Keep an eye out! The OOO Company have olive oil flavoured with basil, garlic and chilli coming soon and later will be adding more items to the range. We’d like to find a really good balsamic to sell alongside our olive oil and maybe the speciality cured ham lountza which everybody loves when they holiday in Cyprus, often served with grilled halloumi. We’re also looking to find a really good supplier of pasturma and louganika, which are lovely spiced Cypriot sausages."
If you'd like to read the full story click here: www.cambridgebid.co.uk/news/market-trader-month-june/