The University of Manchester is one of the first universities in the country to launch its very own food market, featuring a selection of local independent food traders.
And it’s not just scran for students. This massive market based in the former campus eatery opposite The Manchester Museum shop will be open to the public, taking the form of other market-style eateries like Mackie Mayor and GRUB.
There will be a combination of rotating traders and some permanent stallholders serving food from 8am-3.30pm Monday-Friday all year round. You can also get your morning caffeine fix, as artisan micro coffee roasters ManCoCo will be resident providers of hot drinks.
Permanent stallholders include Vnam, a friendly family-run business serving fast, fresh Vietnamese food, and Nibble NQ – the girlgang-run eatery which also has a site in the Northern Quarter.
“The market is a great opportunity for us to grow as a business and reach more lovely customers and try new things,” says Lauren Irlam of Nibble.
“It’s also really important to me that we work alongside, and support, other independent businesses and promote each other, so it’s a great space to be in to facilitate this, and to build relationships. There is a great sense of community already, we all really love what we do, and want to share it with as many people as possible!”
Visitors can pick up everything from snacks, light bites and cakes to full-on breakfasts and lunches. From porridge to pizzas, salads to seriously loaded hot dogs.
Check out the alternating traders too, for a chance to see some of the city’s most innovative foodies. A cracking hit is Gourmegg, serving up homemade artisan scotch eggs in a wide variety of exciting flavours, at the market every Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.
There are also freshly boiled and baked bagels thanks to Schmear MCR, an Ancoats-based bakery who are coming to the market on Tuesdays and Thursdays. And don’t forget the ice cream – another highly popular visitor has been Rogue Artisan Ice Cream serving up homemade ices with regularly changing flavours such as salted caramel and espresso martini.
Pop-ups from much-loved Manchester eateries Yard & Coop and Brewski have been proving popular, too.
It’s a far cry from most university eating, and is easy access, with a central communal seating area surrounded by the range of artisan outlets combining casual dining with quality, fresh food.
The market has been a much-anticipated project from the hospitality and events team at the University, along with marketing from the local company Eats Agency.
“Working with the University on a first of its kind project like this is really exciting,” said Jake Ansbro of Eats Agency.
“Following a great reception after launching on our own community Eatmcr, we know this new venture will not only enhance the student experience, it’s also a great opportunity for local food brands to connect with students”.
Celebrate the indies of the foodie community and come down to the University. It’s food for thought – and you don’t even need to study.