COVERED Market traders are getting into the swing of what for the majority of them is the busiest time of the year.

In a bid to increase footfall in Oxford, the city council is running a campaign in the run up to Christmas.

Backed by the Oxford Mail, this week we look at what traders at our beloved Covered Market are doing during the festive season.

See also: Waiter ‘stepped up for Cowley Road’ in one-man Christmas tree battle

The Cake Shop replaces the majority of its stock with Christmas treats.

Manager David Bunting said: “We’re a very traditional cake producer so we do the fruit cakes, yule logs and panettone but also the next generation who want slightly bespoke cakes.

“We’ve got lots of off the shelf goods which people can decorate themselves, such as gingerbreads.

“Pretty much everything in the shop is geared to Christmas, and September to December is usually our busiest time of the year.

“We’ve had 18 months of struggle and loss. We’re trying to address that and balance it, and there has been a week-on-week bump so we’ll try to make the most of it as January does go a little bit flat.”

Ervin Tomkys Valteri, owner of Oxford Soap Company, explained why buying from the Covered Market is particularly special.

Oxford Mail: Emily Valteri and Ervin Tomkys Valteri from The Oxford Soap Company. Picture: Ed NixEmily Valteri and Ervin Tomkys Valteri from The Oxford Soap Company. Picture: Ed Nix

He said: “The biggest thing for us is the gift sets, it makes it easier for people to get in and out of the shop.

“People want something easier and most of the time, they know what products they want and they’ll be in a gift set.

“It’s the busiest time of the year – we’re a lovely community at the Covered Market and we support each other.

“The Oxford community shows its true community spirit to us at this time of year.

“Every penny that is spent at the market goes to traders – you meet the people where the money is going and the people who actually make the products, so that’s very special.”

Of course, it wouldn’t be Christmas without brussels sprouts – and the divisive vegetable can be bought at Bonners.

Oxford Mail: Gordon Piggott of Bonners. Picture: Ed NixGordon Piggott of Bonners. Picture: Ed Nix

Owner Gordon Piggott said: “We have lots of local vegetables, it’s a good time for the winter vegetables – and we have loads of sprouts.

“If we don’t get the support, a lot of businesses in the Covered Market won’t be here.

“With people still working from home, we don’t get that office trade.

“However, all the industries we supply are really busy because people are making the most of things by going out.”

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