Camden makeover for Tooting Market
Tooting Market will be the next Camden if its ambitious new manager gets his way.
The market was taken over by former Camden Stables market manager Roi Mengelgrein 18 months ago and is now specialising in delicious food from around the world and hand made items.
Every pitch is now occupied following a major make-over and there is a waiting list of 70 businesses keen to open there.
Camden-style signs have been handcrafted to adorn the market and space has been cleared to create community areas.
The 82-year-old market has also benefited from a £40,000 new heating system, making it as the only indoor heated market in London, according to Mr Mengelgrein.
He said: "It will be the new up-and-coming market in South London, we are trying to do things like Camden, Spitalfields and Brixton.
"There are 60 to 70 people on our waiting list. I have jewellery shops and mobile phone repairs shops email me, but I turn them down.
"We don't want it to be like the high street. We look for hand made items and nothing is imported. The idea was to recreate it and make it more fancy."
New additions to the market include a Portuguese grocer, a Caribbean food hut, a Sex and the City style lash bar and a Spanish Cafe ran by a former hotel chef.
The Brick Box Cafe in the centre of the market has also been constructed, acting as a hub for events and community projects.
Mr Mengelgrein admitted footfall has so far been slow but hopes it will increase with the support from residents.
He also said problems have been caused with people confusing Tooting Market with Broadway Market, also on Upper Tooting Road, with the Mayor of Wandsworth even turning up at the wrong venue for the relaunch of a local website.
Future plans for the market include revamping more shop fronts and attracting new businesses of the right type.