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Two young Suffolk market traders named best in the country at National Market Traders Federation competition

Two young traders from Suffolk markets have been named best in the country.

On Saturday, Sam Green, 23, from Culford, who trades on Bury St Edmunds and Clare markets, won the 'Best General Retail' category for his key cutting and shoe repair business, Bethmonte, in the finals of the Young Market Trader of the Year competition, run by the National Market Traders Federation.

Sophie Clarke, 24, from Sophie Clarke Designs in Mildenhall won 'Best Arts and Crafts' with her hand-woven interior products and homeware.

Sam Green
Sam Green

The competition was open to 16 - 30-year-olds, took place in Stratford Upon Avon last Friday and Saturday.

Eight young traders were selected to represent the East of England following a regional competition held in Bury St Edmunds.

Sam and Sophie won two of the four categories in total, which also included food and drink and grocery retail.

Sophie Clarke
Sophie Clarke

Shoppers will soon be able to Sophie Clarke homeware accessories on the monthly Makers Markets in Bury St Edmunds.

The six other finalists representing the eastern Region, were:

Holly Carr-Maskell of Dearlove Ltd selling Dalham Mill Gin who is due to be trading on Clare monthly market on Saturday September 18.

Ruth Lea of Bluebell Lane Jewellery business who will be at the Makers Market in Bury St Edmunds this Sunday from 10am to 3pm.

Sophie Aris of Handmade Galore selling Hand painted glassware, mugs, burners and melts who trades on Haverhill market and the Clare monthly


Olivia Washington, from Braintree, Essex, of Olivia's Cosities selling fabric and haberdashery.

George Lawrence of Hazel Nurseries which produces and sells plants, flowers, trees, shrubs, bulbs who trades on Bury St Edmunds market

Billie Wilson of Wilson’s fruit and vegetables, greengrocers who trades on Bury St Edmunds market.

West Suffolk Council is making all of the young traders aware of the MENTA start-up grant which is funded by the council and which helps new businesses get established.

Julie Baird, Director for Planning and Growth at West Suffolk Council, said: “We are delighted to see our local talent recognised in the national awards.

"The market is a great place for people to start and growth their businesses.

We are proud that our young traders had this opportunity to showcase their businesses and demonstrate what we have to offer in West Suffolk.

"We are also equally proud of our other young traders including the six other regional finalists and the work they are doing.

"West Suffolk markets offer a great opportunity to new start-up businesses.

"We work hard to support our traders who provide a wonderful range of products, adding to what our market towns have to offer.

"We are keen to continue supporting and attracting new businesses to our markets in all of our towns."

If anyone is interested in finding out about trading on our markets, they should email markets@westsuffolk.gov.uk”.

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