What’s been great about CR7 Market is that it has created a burgeoning industry of foodie entrepreneurs.

There’s no doubt that starting a market pilot in winter, in challenging weather conditions, was going to be difficult for volunteers from Thornton Heath Community Action Team but what’s emerged is the amazing culinary talent out there and their inspiring stories.

Many food vendors are now preparing to return for their third CR7 Market on Easter weekend Saturday March 31.

TO BOOK A STALL CLICK HERE: www.cr7market.co.uk

What’s key for the market to continue beyond the three month pilot is if locals turn out and support CR7s arts, crafts and food stalls like Saima Syeda, who runs Saima’s Sweet Art a patisserie inspired bakery.

Saima said: “After years of hobby baking I decided to study patisserie at CALAT. I also learnt chocolate making from Mark Tilling, before joining Brasserie Blanc as Pastry Chef and finally 2017 was the year when I started my own home based bakery.

“I have a great connection with Thornton Heath, an emotional part of our lives was spent in Thornton Heath. I used to live on Brigstock Road at the time I was studying in CALAT struggling as a single mum of two, working as well as further studying to turn my passion of baking into profession.

“Also my first ever pop up was in CR7 Market, so it was not only CR7 Market’s first ever experience for me it was also a start of something completely new.”

Saima’s who is now also trading elsewhere in Croydon says her products are one of a kind, made from scratch from high quality ingredients free from all artificial flavours and additives. The idea is the customer gets to turn their favourite dessert and flavours into cakes like cafe latte, Piña Colada, and other exciting flavours.

The Easter market takes place between 11am-4pm and will coincide with CPFCs home match against Liverpool.

The early 12.30pm kick off will give stallholders a guaranteed footfall providing custom from football fans and local people during the match.THCAT expects stalls to be located outside the Job Centre, Salvation Army and Whitehorse roundabout. There will be no stalls on Ambassador House.

Lauraine Crawford, owner and head chef of Brown Shuga Dumplin catering, street food and events company, said: “My love of food started at the age of eight when I would help my mum cook. Cooking was a big thing in our house, and as dual heritage of Guyanese and Jamaican I had the best of best worlds with food.

“I started BSD because of my passion for great tasting food. What started off as a hobby has now progressed into a full time job and I feel so blessed that word of mouth has spread and people just enjoy my home cooked food. Whether it’s Jerk chicken, curry goat, rice and peas or even macaroni cheese, it’s all served with our unique herbs and spices that gives the food the unmistakable BSD  taste.

“I was lucky to be selected to be part of Croydon’s Food Flagship project sponsored by the London Mayors office and Croydon Council. The project aims to tackle obesity amongst children and adults and support families to live longer, healthier lives. I strongly believe Thornton Heath deserves healthier fast food alternatives and I’m passionate about delivering this to the community.”

Other regular food vendors  include: Satema Tarawally aka Theresa’s Kitchen offering Sierra Leonean, West African and Pan African cuisine made with love.

She said: “We have been cooking for private and family  parties for years but last year we made it official at CR7 market and it was a hit! ”

Gustavo Balduvino of Empanadas la criolla, is so enamoured with the market he has asked if he can have a stall more than once a month!

Raymas Canteen serving  up ethnic dishes, and S&L offers

West Indian fusion food

as well as cakes. They

will all be back

serving up

tasty dishes.