Trimmings off the table for Essex Road with Market Garden grocer’s to shut on Christmas Eve

Market Garden in Essex Road. Picture: Sam Gelder

Market Garden in Essex Road. Picture: Sam Gelder - Credit: Archant

A much-loved Essex Road greengrocer’s is shutting up shop for the final time on Christmas Eve to make way for a new development.

Jacqui Emery, co-owner of Market Garden greengrocers in Essex Road. Picture: Polly Hancock

Jacqui Emery, co-owner of Market Garden greengrocers in Essex Road. Picture: Polly Hancock - Credit: Archant

Market Gardens has been in the same spot for more than 20 years but the family who run it have now agreed with the new landlord to leave by January 2.

They were initially told to leave in June by the mysterious owners, but customers launched a campaign to save it and it was given a six-month reprieve.

Co-owner Jacqui Emery told the Gazette this week the family had a good relationship with the landlord and stressed they had not been evicted, and she would now retire.

“It’s a change of times round here with all these new shops,” she said. “We’ve come to terms with leaving now.”

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The family may have come to terms with leaving the area and their customers, but the council is still not happy with the landlord and says it has “forced” out the Market Garden.

The Gazette understands the plans could involve two retail units on the ground floor and flats above it. As it stands, there is nothing above the shop, which was built on a Second World War bombsite.

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Campaigners and the town hall were pushing for the shop to be given an affordable rent inside any new building and councillors had written numerous times to the owners.

Business chief Cllr Asima Shaikh said: “It is tremendously disappointing that the landlords are forcing the Market Garden to close.

“This much-loved institution is an important part of Essex Road and will be missed by many.

“Alongside local councillors, I have been urging the landlord to support the Market Garden, but the council has no power to prevent the closure.

“We are committed to promoting a more inclusive economy in Islington to reduce unemployment, poverty, and inequality of opportunity.

“Small businesses are a really important part of building that inclusive economy, and they are also at the heart of our community. We will continue to stand-up for local small businesses, our high streets and town centres.”

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