Reducing plastic at Ely Markets: together we can make a difference

Reducing plastic at Ely Markets

Plastic recycling at Ely Markets

Change the way you shop

Susanne Stent of Silver Oak Coffee has been trading for five years and has noticed a huge change in peoples’ attitudes in that time. “At the beginning nobody asked us about the paper cups,” she explains. “About three years ago, around the time of the Blue Planet series on TV, we noticed a big change. Our customers started getting interested in our cups – what they’re made of and what happens to them afterwards. It was the start of a big change for us.”


Unlike big supermarkets, our traders are flexible – if you fancy bringing your own bag or container for your vegetables, bread or cheese then that’s completely OK with us. Simply hand your bag or basket to the stallholder and they’ll be happy to pack your produce straight into it.

Silver Oak Coffee now offer discounts for customers who bring their own cups. “Our customers were totally up for the change,” Susanne explains. “If you bring your own cup, we’ll knock 10p off the price. Over the last 12 months we’ve give away 8721 discounts which means that we’ve saved nearly 9000 cups from going into landfill!”

Compostable and recyclable packaging

We know you can’t always remember to bring containers and cups with you, so we’re helping our traders source compostable and recyclable packaging where possible.

“Ely Markets have been very supportive of our move to fully compostable coffee cups and lids,” says Susanne of Silver Oak Coffee. “Our customers are happy with the change, and we’re also now able to offer a recycling service for our black coffee bags.”

Sophie Ellis of Sophie’s Cakes has also made the switch to cardboard packaging. “Some of my customers love bringing their own re-usable containers but treating yourself to a slice of cake is often a spur-of-the-moment thing!” says Sophie. “People love to know that the boxes I package my cakes in can be easily recycled.”

Hannah George of Oriolo Jewellery agrees. “I’m committed to using as little packaging as possible at my stall. I’ve stopped automatically offering bags to my customers, but I still make your purchases look pretty and special,” says Hannah. “I also offer repairs for everyday costume jewellery, helping you save your favourite pieces from going to landfill!”

We want everyone to get involved with our commitment to reducing plastic at Ely Markets. Here’s some simple ways you can help…

• Remember your shopping bags on market days
• Buy your fruit and vegetables loose from our stalls
• Invest in a bamboo coffee cup and some re-usable cutlery for street food
• Swap plastic-wrapped bread for a simple loaf in a paper bag from our bread stalls


Plastic recycling at Ely Markets


Ely Markets is hosting its annual Vegan and Vintage Fair this May bank holiday weekend. This popular event brings together an eclectic mix of vegan food alongside vintage and retro stalls.  

Vegan Market, Vintage Market, Ely Markets

“We’re delighted to be hosting our third annual Vegan and Vintage Fair again this year,” says Julia Davis of Ely Markets. “It’s a brilliant event for all the family with a unique mix of delicious food, quirky stalls and retro fun.”

There will be a diverse range of vegan food available – from vibrant street food to delicious cakes and bakes. Visitors should also look out for vegan beauty and lifestyle products, plus ethical clothing.

“Ely Markets has a great reputation for vegan food and lifestyle products,” explains Julia. “At our Vegan and Vintage Fair, we bring together local foodie favourites with food and producers from all over the region. We’ve got something for everyone – from Food by Lizzi’s authentic ‘Scotch Eggless’© and snacks to Asian inspired sauces and amazing iced cakes. There’ll also be vegan-friendly cleaning and beauty products {FULL CIRCLE}, plus bamboo socks and activewear.”

As well as sampling vegan food, visitors can also browse a selection of retro-inspired stalls. There will be all kinds of vintage and upcycled furniture – plus collectables, clothes and records. 

“This year there’ll be everything from mid-century furniture and glass to vinyl records and vintage fashion,” says Julia. “People love the unique combination of delicious vegan food and eclectic retro stalls. So, whether you’re curious about vegan food, or a fan of vintage style, come and explore our Vegan & Vintage Fair this bank holiday with your family and friends and discover something new.”

Ely Markets’ Vegan and Vintage Fair will take place on Sunday 5 and Bank Holiday Monday  6 May 2019 from 10am – 4pm. Vegan food will available be on Dolphin Lane and the vintage stalls will be on the main Market Place. There will also be a bar, traditional bank holiday market stalls and street food plus children’s entertainment.   Ely Markets regular weekly Craft, Food & Vintage Market takes place as usual on Saturday 4 May on Market Place and Dolphin Lane.

Ely Markets Charity Stall

Applications now open for 2019.

A charity stall is available at Ely Markets on the first Saturday of every month and every Thursday (providing your own stall).  

Applications are open until 28th February. 

Email us at for an application form.  We will contact you if your application is successful. 


Want to travel the world without leaving Cambridgeshire? Just head to Ely Markets.

Ely’s weekly markets regularly feature a diverse mix of street food, produce and gifts from across the globe. This bank holiday weekend, the regular traders will be joined by the Flavours of the World market, returning for its 12th year. Ely’s Market Place and High Street will have everything from authentic North African food and French cheese and patisserie to gorgeous olives and Baltic amber jewellery.

“People love seeing something new when they come to our markets,” explains Julia Davis of Ely Markets. “We already have a fabulous selection of food, crafts and gifts every week, but this bank holiday the Flavours of the World market will give you even more choice than ever. Whether it’s Mexican churros, Spanish paella, German currywurst or exotic sweets – we know you’ll find something you can’t resist.”

As well as enjoying delicious food, market visitors will also be able to buy gifts, homewares and more. There will be beautifully scented French soaps from Marseille, lavender from Provence, scented oils and exquisite jewellery – plus handmade wooden garden furniture.

The Flavours of the World market takes place in Ely High Street on Saturday 26 May and in the Market Place on Sunday 27 May and Bank Holiday Monday. It runs from 8.30am until 3.30pm. Ely’s weekly Craft, Food & Vintage Market and Farmers’ Market is open as usual on the Market Place on Saturday.

Vegan & Vintage Fair 2018

This May Day Bank Holiday weekend our Vegan and Vintage fair is back! This popular event brings together an eclectic mix of vegan food alongside vintage, retro and traditional market stalls.

Our Vegan and Vintage Fair is a brilliant event for all the family. You don’t have to be vegan to appreciate it – we’ve got delicious food and drink that’ll please everyone, as well as lots of vintage stalls. It’s a chance to experience something new and enjoy a bit of retro fun while soaking up the atmosphere of our beautiful city.

Our markets have a great reputation for vegan food. At our Vegan and Vintage Fair, we’re bringing together local favourites with food and producers from all over the region. We’ve got something for everyone.

For street food fans, there’s a vegan burger van, wraps, samosas and curry. There’ll also be delicious vegan-friendly coffee, tea and cake – plus a bar on the Market Place. Keep an eye out Food by Lizzi’s famous “Scotch Eggless”– plus vegan beauty products and ethical clothing.

As well as sampling vegan food, we’ll also have a selection of retro-inspired stalls. This year there’ll be everything from furniture and retro lamps to 1950s-style dresses and vinyl.

So, whether you’re curious about vegan food, or a fan of vintage style, come and explore our Vegan & Vintage Fair this bank holiday with your family and friends.

The Vegan and Vintage Fair will take place on Sunday 6 and Monday 7 May 2018 from 10am – 4pm. Vegan food and produce will be available on Dolphin Lane and the vintage stalls will be on the main Market Place. There will also be a bar, traditional bank holiday market stalls, family entertainment and more.

Our Mini-Markets Launch

Ely Markets: Now bringing the community together six days a week.

On Wednesday 3 April 2018, we launched our new weekday mini-markets on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and
Fridays. You’ll find everything from daily essentials like bread, fruit and vegetables to delicious
locally-roasted coffee and there will also be fresh fish every Tuesday. Our new markets complement the larger markets on Thursday, Saturdays and Sundays – and give you more flexibility and choice than ever before.

The day we launched our new mini-markets there was a real sense of community and
independence in the Market Place. People came away with something that made their day a little
brighter: a bunch of local carrots, a loaf of freshly baked bread or a new plant for their doorstep.
Each week you’ll find all these daily essentials, plus the best seasonal produce – and there’s always
the chance to bump into friends and catch up on all the local news.

Shopping is changing

Visitors to our markets tell us they want more flexibility and choice. They want to get more of what
they want, when they want it – at the best quality and the best price. Increasingly many of you are
swapping a big weekly trip to the supermarket for a new pattern of shopping little and often. And
many of us want less waste and packaging too, don’t we? That’s where our markets come in.

Visitors to our markets are always delighted to be have the chance to buy their fruit, vegetables
and bread in just the right amounts – just the way people have done for hundreds of years.
According to the Food Standards Agency, almost half the food thrown away in the UK comes from
our homes. Too often supermarkets encourage us to buy too much, and we don’t always get
around to using it in time. Our markets give you the option to shop more thoughtfully and
sustainably – buying what you need, when you need it.

Ditch the unnecessary packaging

Reducing packaging and cutting back on plastic is a huge concern for us. On market days, the
majority of our customers now bring along their own reusable shopping bags. Always carry a few
with you and ask our traders to weigh your fruit and veg directly into your own bags. It’s not easy to
go zero-waste, but our markets will help you get pretty close.

Don’t forget your coffee cup!

These days people aren’t just bringing their own bags to the market, they’re bringing their own
coffee cups and containers too. Silver Oak Coffee, whose new double-decker coffee rig will now be
at the market 6 days a week, have noticed a huge change in their people’s habits. Many of their
customers now bring their own re-usable cups with them. And if you forget, then you’ll be happy to
hear that all their takeaway coffee cups are now fully biodegradable.

A small city with a lot to offer

Ely attracts many visitors each day. We’re thrilled that it’s now possible for everyone to experience
our markets six days a week. And once you’re at the market, you’re just a stone’s throw from the
many other exciting shops, cafés and restaurants the city has to offer. Our new mini-markets will
even include a regular space for outdoor seating for the Lemon Tree Deli – whose shop sits right on
the Market Place.

It’s now easier than ever to come and experience our thriving markets for yourself. We can’t wait to welcome you!


Ely Markets is introducing new extra “Mini-Markets” on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays which
will bring together a selection of stalls selling essentials like fruit, vegetables, coffee and bread.

“We want to make our markets more useful and convenient than ever before,” says Julia Davis of
Ely Markets. “Our new Mini-Markets give you the chance to get more of what you want, when you
want it. They’ll make everyday shopping easier and will encourage people to shop locally and
support small producers.”

The new Mini-Markets will take place every Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. The smaller extra
markets will complement the established successful main markets on Thursdays, Saturdays and
Sundays and will offer daily essentials such as fruit and vegetables, fish, flowers, bread, cheese
and more.

“We’ve chosen everything we think the Mini-Markets need,” says Julia. “It’s perfect for when
you’re popping into town on your lunch break, or after you’ve dropped the kids off at school. And
once you’ve finished your shopping Silver Oak Coffee will be there to keep you supplied with
delicious locally-roasted coffee”.

Buying little and often from a local market isn’t just convenient. It also reduces food waste and
cuts down on packaging. Ely Markets will be encouraging their shoppers to help them make their
markets as eco-friendly as possible.

“We want our markets to lead the way in helping local residents to take a more thoughtful
approach to their shopping,” says Julia. “If people in Ely choose to make a few small changes to
the way they shop then together we can make a big difference. Remember your shopping bags on
market days and bring along a re-usable coffee cup too. We’d love to see people start bringing
their own containers for cakes and pastries.”

The new Mini-Markets begin on Tuesday 3 April 2018 and will trade from 8.30am – 3.30pm on
Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays. On Wednesday 4 April there will be a special launch day to
coincide with the Easter school holiday. There will be extra stalls, activities and the chance to meet
Michael Recycle, Ely’s local eco-hero, and to win an Ely Markets “Bring Your Own” goody bag.