Traders determined to stay after food hall collapse

Olympian Louis Smith

The Times revealed last week that the company set up to turn the empty Ely Court into a thriving street food market has been dissolved.

Central Market opened in 2019 in the empty Ely Court – the arcade attached to RVP that opens onto Camden Road.

Set up by Joan Ferras Quintero, the food hall had a number of stalls that were owned directly by the London-based businessman as well as several independent shops that paid rent through their tills to him.

As the Times revealed last week, Companies House has ordered Central Market be dissolved as the businessman has not filed any accounts since 2020 and the food hall had debts in excess of £125,000.

While one of the independent stores, Once Upon a Wish Events, has said they will now be closing, the rest of the independent stores in Ely Court which includes Dessert Island, chocolate house Goupie, and Frankie & Fries, have vowed to continue.

Grace Simpson, who runs Goupie, told the Times this week that the opening of Central Market had been greeted with ‘excitement’ by all the traders back in 2019.

“The first few months were really good, and the concept worked really well but nobody expected what would happen with Covid-19,” she said.

She said she was told just before Christmas of Central Market’s troubles.

“Mr Ferras informed us it was going to be wound down, but we have had no communication with him since then.

“This has definitely been a difficult year for hospitality businesses, and so for those of us who have survived and are now looking towards the future, it’s more important than ever that our customers know we’re still open.

“We have been chatting with RVP to create a new deal.

“All of the independents here are determined to stay. We are open and we are trading and whatever happens, even if we cannot stay here, we will open somewhere else.”



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