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10 food and drink units I want to see open in new Aberdeen Market – do you agree with my picks?

There are 10 spaces up for grabs when the revamped market opens. Here's what food and drink writer Karla Sinclair would like to occupy them...

A concept image of a redeveloped Aberdeen Market. Image: Supplied by Aberdeen City Council/Halliday Fraser Munro
A concept image of a redeveloped Aberdeen Market. Image: Supplied by Aberdeen City Council/Halliday Fraser Munro

The Aberdeen Market revamp has been talk of the town for a while now with the regular updates making some locals excited, and others being left with a sour taste.

It was recently revealed that the multi-million-pound site will house units for 10 food and drink vendors and a bar run by Fierce Beer.

An impression of the new Aberdeen market, which will have an abundance of food units
Image: Supplied by Aberdeen City Council/Halliday Fraser Munro

Fierce, which launched in April 2016, already has bars in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Manchester, as well as its own taproom in Dyce.

With the businesses setting up shop in the 10 units up in the air, I thought I’d share what I would like to see in them.

An impression of how the green will look
Image: Supplied by Aberdeen City Council/Halliday Fraser Munro

I’m hoping for nothing but local businesses, which you’ll see in my ‘top picks’ sections, with fresh produce.

These top picks are all based in Aberdeen unless stated otherwise.

Watch bakery products be made before your eyes by unit 1

How amazing would it be to watch a team of expert bakers make the goods you later take home with you?

This is my concept for one of the units, which would involve windows being installed around the kitchen area so market-goers can view the bakers at work.

A selection of breads at The Bread Guy in Inverurie, including sourdough, french white, focaccia, mediterranean and seeded sourdough
A selection of breads, at The Bread Guy in Inverurie. Image: Wullie Marr/DC Thomson

It could also offer baking and pastry courses for aspiring bakers…

Top picks: The Bread Guy, Bandit Bakery, Ross Bakery, The Bread Maker, Ythan Bakery (Ellon), and The Hame Bakery (Peterhead)

Beautifully displayed fruit and veg at unit 2 would add even more vibrancy to Aberdeen Market

I love visiting independent stores when it comes to buying fruit and veg. Why is that? Mainly because you know exactly where it’s sourced.

Having this on a larger scale within one of the spaces would not only prove useful for those like myself – who adore local produce that’s high in quality and value – but also make for a vibrant and eye-catching unit.

Someone picking raspberries at Castleton Farm raspberries
Castleton Farm raspberries. Image: Supplied by Castleton Farm

Visitors could expect everything from carrots and potatoes to strawberries, blackberries and raspberries.

Top picks: Castleton Farm (Laurencekirk), Mains of Glassaugh Vegetables (Banff), and TPS Fruit & Veg (Turriff)

Unit 3 could offer the seafood ‘catch/catches of the day’

With there being so many fantastic seafood companies in the north-east alone, it would be a shame to not shine a light on at least one of them in the revamped Aberdeen Market.

Seafood form Amity Fish
Amity Fish is one of the businesses I would love to see providing stock at the market. Image: Supplied by Amity Fish

The unit could be designated to one or several local fishing companies, who would provide freshly-caught stock for customers daily.

Everything from lobster, crab and haddock to prawns would ideally be available.

Top picks: Granite City Fish, Amity Fish (Peterhead), and Blueflag Seafoods

Unit 4 serving butteries alone? Say no more…

That’s right, one of my dream food units would be a buttery café. And yes, it would only offer the north-east delicacy (in various different formats).

Think pizza butteries, buttery sandwiches, and buttery desserts.

Someone using tongs to pick up three butteries/rowies from a box of the Aberdeen delicacy
What does everyone think of the Aberdeen Market welcoming a buttery café? Image: Wullie Marr/DC Thomson

I have no doubt that the space would prove popular among locals and attract tourists from far and wide.

There’s definitely an appetite for it, if Mackie’s buttery and jam ice cream is anything to go by.

Top picks: Vegan Bay Baker (Peterhead), The Bread Guy, and World’s Best Buttery (New Pitsligo)

Speaking of ice cream…

Expect gelato or ice cream for those hot (and not-so-hot) days at unit 5

High-quality gelato or ice cream is another product I’d love to see in the market.

Whether there be a wealth of flavours or a select few, I believe market-goers of all ages would adore the unit (regardless of whether the sun is shining or not).

Tubs of Forest Farm gelato, which would be a great addition to the new Aberdeen market food units
Forest Farm gelato. Image: Chris Sumne/DC Thomson

It would also be a fantastic idea to offer a flavour exclusive to the new Aberdeen Market. This goes for all future vendors.

Top picks: Forest Farm (Kinellar), Portsoy Ice Cream (Portsoy), and Simpsons Ice Cream (Buckie)

Vegan and/or vegetarian street food on the cards in unit 6

Fresh and fragrant vegan and/or vegetarian street food dishes are a must too.

Whether it be Indian, Mexican, Japanese, Caribbean, or Scottish-inspired dishes, this space would go down a hit.

Tequenos from Latinway
Tequenos from Latinway. Image: Wullie Marr/DC Thomson

The firms I would like to see here (my ‘top picks’) don’t have solely vegan or vegetarian dishes on their menus, but they know how to execute them well, that’s for sure.

Top picks: Tango Turtle, The Everest, Latinway, Dreamy Goat Coffee Co (Inverurie), and Muchacho

Why I think unit 7 should champion Scottish classics

The list of places serving up Scottish cuisine in the city is impressive.

Here, I’d love to see traditional Scottish dishes – for example, Cullen skink, haggis, neeps and tatties, and Cranachan – with added flair.

A haggis spring roll
Haggis spring roll. Image: Kami Thomson/DC Thomson

Of course, local suppliers would provide the ingredients for each dish where possible.

Top picks: The Atrium, and No.10 Bar and Restaurant

Brownies, cheesecake and fudge for those with a sweet tooth at unit 8

I’m a self-confessed dessert lover, so a unit serving beautifully decorated sweet treats would have to be on the cards as well.

Cupcakes, brownies, tarts, cheesecakes, cookie pies, fudges, cookies. You name it, and this vendor would serve it.

A selection of desserts from Sweet Toots Cakery which would be a nice addition to the new Aberdeen Market food units
I’d love to see Sweet Toots Cakery set up shop in Aberdeen Market. Image: Kath Flannery/DC Thomson

Top picks: The Wee Brown Mouse Bakery, Kenzie’s Cakes, Gooey Delights (Peterhead), Sweet Toots Cakery, Vegan Bay Baker (Peterhead), and O’Caykx

Refreshments, anyone? Freshly squeezed juices, smoothies and shots could be potentials for unit 9

I also think an offering of smoothies, juices and fruit shots at one of the units would be great too – to give consumers an extra boost.

The drinks available could be made with fruit and veg that’s in season, and everything would be prepared and squeezed fresh on site.

A smoothie at Juiced in Peterhead, which could be included in the food units in Aberdeen Market
A smoothie at Juiced in Peterhead. Image: Wullie Marr/DC Thomson

Here, there would be potential to serve smoothie bowls on top of the drinks options.

Top picks: Juiced (Peterhead), Fun Tea, and BioCafe

Unit 10 could sell wonky food and drink products that don’t need to go to waste

Last, but certainly not least, is a unit designed specifically for products made by the unitholders that may be considered unworthy of being sold at their RRP.

For example, a cookie with cracks, a slightly discoloured vegetable, or fresh bread that needs to be sold within the day.

Wonky vegetables
Wonky vegetables. Image: Shutterstock

All items would be discounted at this unit.

It’s similar to the Too Good To Go concept, and one that I believe would go down well with sustainable locals or people looking for a bargain.

Find out more about the market plans here:

Revealed: New Aberdeen Market will have Fierce bar and 10 vendors at food hall