Q&A: Marky Market

This week we speak to Marky Market – a link between Londoners and the twilight world of the meat and fish markets.



My name’s Mark and I started markymarket a couple of years ago. Basically, people get hold of me by hotmail, phone, text or twitter. They tell me what they’d like from Smithfield and Billingsgate and I’ll get up at 2am to get it for them; I don’t hold any stock, I buy to order. I just get the freshest meat, fish and shellfish I can find, then deliver it to you around town using my trolley, chiller boxes and the tube. I’m your man at the market.

First pub experience…

First time I went into a pub was when I started college in Liverpool, I was maybe 16. I didn’t have a clue about what I should drink or any sort of pub etiquette, so when the barman asked me what I wanted, I panicked and asked for “the usual”. My first pub experience lasted precisely thirty seconds.

Best pub find if the last year…

The Euston Tap stands out because of the variety of proper beer and the enthusiasm of the staff. Markymarket deliveries take me all over town though, so I’m always discovering new places.

Sounds to be heard as you work…
The terrible MOR 1960s music from the radio that is always on in the Blue Posts.

Tell us about your office…
My Soho office is the Blue Posts on Berwick Street, at the end of the market. It’s where I gravitate towards after I’ve done my deliveries and has become my office because it’s a great old boozer that makes the minimum of concessions to the 21st century. Bill, the landlord, won’t even do food, just maybe a grudging pack of pork scratchings. The Adnams is good though, and it’s pretty central too, so any markymarket customers who need to meet me to collect their orders can get there easily.

Pub heaven…
Proper beer, from a pump. I’m not particularly fussed about any particular one, but I do like Bass, and Adnams, and Ubu, and, IPA, and Doombar, and Pride, and Speckled Hen… I also like a pub where I can get a seat, barstaff that remember me and they don’t mind my trolley shoved in the corner.

Pub hell…
Barstaff who think beer is just fizzy draught lager.
Favourite local…
The Hemingford Arms on Hemingford Road in Islington. It’s run by Una, the best landlady you will ever find. I don’t want to analyse why it’s the best pub in the world, it just is. Once you go there, you’ll realise that it’s very difficult to leave without promising yourself that you’ll be back.

Favourite non local…

Probably the Blue Posts, but the Cross Keys on Endell St in Covent Garden is good. Then there’s the Globe on Bow St or the Kings Head on Upper St; it’s difficult to choose one.

What’s on the horizon…
I want to carry on with the balance of customers that I have, so I can still get all this fantastic food for individuals and a few independent restaurateurs. Hopefully markymarket will become increasingly successful. I’ll still go to the markets to choose and buy the things that customers order, but I’ll have a few minions to take care of some of the deliveries. Which will give me more time to enjoy a beer.
Q&A: Marky Market

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