Shambles Market

Meet the Shambles Market Trader: Staves Art

Selling a unique range of hand drawn cityscape artworks, Staves Art was founded by artist Ben Staves in 2017. Ben designs unique maps of cities across the UK and beyond – including York, London, New York and Paris – portraying the famous streets and landmarks in an unusual 3D globe style.

Each design can take anywhere up to 100 hours to create – with Ben hand-drawing intricate, detailed maps of the city and its iconic buildings to give a totally unique take on the city skyline.

From originally pursuing a career in Architecture, Ben created the first of his iconic city globe designs whilst studying at Northumbria University back in 2012, and over the last nine years has gone on to develop this passion for art into a successful business. Pre-lockdown, Ben was trading on Shambles Market three days a week – with his father and uncle helping him run the business both on market stalls and online. Ben is now one of the artists whose work is on sale in the brand new Visit York e shop – which offers a carefully curated collection of some of the best locally created York gifts, crafts and merchandise. The shop features Ben’s hand-drawn ‘York Globe’ artwork – a unique and original take on a city map design with the print available to buy on high quality greetings cards and cushions.

During lockdown, Ben has been kept busy with new commissions and sales via his revamped website – – which offers a wide variety of different cityscape locations as well as popular sporting venues (and even fantasy worlds!)


Ben Staves explains, “I began creating the cityscape artwork when I was in University as part of my Architecture degree and since then I’ve been delighted to be able to develop this into a business. What began as a hobby, and something that I absolutely love doing, is now my full-time job and it’s been great to see how it’s grown over the years.

We started trading on Shambles Market towards the end of 2019 and found it a really wonderful way to promote our products and get out and meet people. The atmosphere on the market is fantastic and it’s a great community of traders on there – offering a mix of really cool products and street food and we love being part of it!

It’s also been great to be a part of the new Visit York e shop and have our York pieces on there for people who want to pick up something a little bit different as a souvenir or gift. The artwork has a huge amount of detail and lovers of York will be able to spot lots of their favourite sights and locations.

Whilst lockdown has been challenging, with us not being able to do the shows and stalls that we had planned, on the plus side it has given me time to work on creating new pieces and developing the online side of the business. Sales via our website have been doing really well and it’s been great to see people supporting small independent businesses when purchasing gifts online. We are really missing seeing our customers face to face and being out chatting to them out on the stall and can’t wait to be back when it’s safe to reopen again!”

Find out more at or and check out the Visit York e-shop for a selection of unique gifts, merchandise and clothing from a range of local suppliers and artists.

Meet the Shambles Market Trader: Black Yak

Black Yak, a unique Fair Trade importer, wholesaler and manufacturer, will this year celebrate twenty-five years of being in business, and of trading on Shambles Market. With a loyal customer base from all over the world, Black Yak sells a range of sustainable clothing and crafts that are handmade in Nepal.

Offering everything from woolly hats, jumpers and gloves through to beautiful summer clothing – the brand has most recently had fantastic national media coverage with a piece in The Independent, following a viral meme being shared online of Bernie Sanders wearing wool mittens at the inauguration of Joe Biden.

During lockdown, Black Yak continues to operate as an online business – shipping their high-quality clothing in a range of sizes and designs to customers across the world. Visit to browse Black Yak’s selection of hand-made clothing, crafts and accessories and to find out more about how their goods are ethically produced.

Recognised by BAFTS, (The British Association for Fair Trade Shops and Suppliers) as a Fair Trade importer and seller, an ethos of fairness and equality is at the heart of the Black Yak business – alongside a commitment to providing long-lasting high-quality products to their customers.

Rupert Harrison of Black Yak explains: “The ethos behind the business is to only buy fairly and ethically produced goods from our workers in Nepal – with a focus on ensuring that they earn an honest wage and are looked after all year round. This is hugely important, especially now during the pandemic when we are doing everything we can to ensure that the workers in our supply chain continue to be taken care of.

“Whilst Covid-19 has had a big impact on our business and we were sad not to have been able to see customers face to face on the Shambles Market and at York’s St. Nicholas Christmas Fair, it’s been positive to see that our website remains popular. Coverage like the recent piece in The Independent all helps and we’ve seen a great increase in traffic to our site and sales of the mittens featured.

“Over the last twenty-five years we’ve seen real changes in Shambles Market and it has been great to see how it has grown in recent years as a major tourist attraction in its own right. The quality and diversity of the traders on the market is fantastic, and I really enjoy being part of that and meeting such a diverse range of people on a daily basis.

“I’d like to say a huge thank you from the bottom of my heart to our customers who continue to support Black Yak and in turn help the artisan workers in Nepal who make our products. Buying from us really does help to make a difference, and we look forward to be able to see customers in person again when it’s safe to do so!”

Find out more about Black Yak here:

Meet the Shambles Market Trader: Cycle Culture

Set up in July 2020 Cycle Culture is a York-based business providing customers with high quality and reliable bicycle repair and servicing. Offering a highly personalised service, Cycle Culture provide a mobile bike service to customers across York and the surrounding areas (including everywhere from Malton and Easingwold out to Selby and Stamford Bridge.)

With a stall on Shambles Market every Friday, Cycle Culture are also on hand to provide a wide range of bicycle parts and accessories, as well as offering basic bike servicing on the stall whilst customers wait. Appointments for repairs and home collection can be made in person on Shambles Market or via their website.

During lockdown, Cycle Culture have continued to be busy helping customers with their bike repair and servicing – bringing their high levels of service, expertise and knowledge to people across York and surrounding areas. Cycle Culture are also proud members of The Association of Cycle Traders, giving customers peace of mind that they meet the highest standards of bicycle repair.

Luke Suff, Owner of Cycle Culture said: “I set up the business in the summer of 2020, coinciding our launch with the Government ‘Fix Your Bike’ scheme which really encouraged people to get back out cycling again. Since launch we’ve had a huge amount of support and lots of new customers finding out about us through recommendations from family and friends.

“The main focus for our business is providing a really personalised and bespoke service for each customer, allowing us to cater to everyone’s unique needs. We have over 10 years experience in this area and we pride ourselves on our personal and friendly service – ensuring customers are kept fully up to date throughout the repair process and keeping costs as low as possible.  We’ve also been working hard to ensure we provide a safe service for all our customers – with systems in place to adhere to social distancing rules at all times, so that everyone can feel confident and secure with our service.

“There has been a huge surge in cycling recently with people using it as a way to get out and about more and exercise, and this has been great to see. With us being able to go out to help customers in the surrounding villages and rural areas just outside of York this has been a real lifeline for many – helping them to get back out cycling again and enjoy the outdoors.

“We started trading on Shambles Market in October last year and we’ve been made to feel so welcome – both by the other traders and the Make It York team who’ve been on hand to provide any help and guidance we’ve needed. We are really looking forward to continuing to build our business through 2021 and working with customers old and new!”

Areas covered include York and out to Boroughbridge, Easingwold, Malton, Pocklington, Selby, Tadcaster and Stamford Bridge. The cost for the bike pick-up is £10 for anywhere in central York or near the ring road, and up to £20 for places further out.

Find out more about Cycle Culture here: and follow their Facebook page for their latest updates and offers:

Meet the Shambles Market Trader: Wigginton Road Nurseries

A family-run business since 1976, Wigginton Road Nurseries is run by brothers, Gary and Andrew – specialising in a wide range of high-quality cut flowers and plants.

With a base on Shambles Market for many years, the Wigginton Road Nurseries stall located on Jubbergate has always offered a year-round selection of the very best seasonal flowers and plants. Hand-picked in Holland, the stall offers a fantastic range of fresh flowers, providing customers with some of the more unusual and unique options not available in supermarkets.

During lockdown the brothers have been busy with a bespoke delivery service – driving across York to deliver fresh flowers direct to people’s homes and bring some much-needed positivity and cheer!

Gary said: “It has been wonderful to see how people have been really getting behind local businesses and the support we’ve had with our flower delivery service over the last week has been absolutely superb. Customers have said it really helps to brighten their day, and how lovely it is to have a local delivery service like this, especially during lockdown.

“With our stock being purchased direct from Dutch wholesalers, the fresh flowers and plants are auctioned every day and prices will of course fluctuate with supply and demand. Over the coming weeks stock levels may also be limited by what we are able to get from our suppliers – however, we are keen to do everything we can to continue to provide this service where possible. When lockdown is over, this may continue to be something we offer our customers, along with the option to order for weddings and events.

“We’ve been on Shambles Market for a long time and seen many changes and improvements in recent years. Being part of the Shambles Market community is great – seeing new traders coming in and developments like the introduction of the Food Court has been really positive and people seem to really love the shopping experience and supporting their local traders.

I’d like to say a huge thank you to all our customers past and present for their outstanding support – it really is appreciated, and we look forward to returning to our stall when lockdown is over and seeing everyone again!”

Find out more about Wigginton Road Nurseries here:

Shambles Market Traders and Make It York support three local charities with donation boost

Three local charities – York Food Bank, York Against Cancer and My Sight York – have today each received a donation boost of £500 from Make It York and the Shambles Market traders that stayed open during lockdown. Following the partial closure of the market in March due to government guidelines, Make It York worked with the fresh food and takeaway traders who were able to stay open during the lockdown period to waive their pitch fees and instead make a donation to charity.

The six traders who have contributed to the donation alongside Make It York are Sheila’s Greengrocers, Mannion’s Fruit & Veg, Taylor Made Kitchen, Stam & Maria’s Greek Street Food, Krep and Na Na Noodle Bar. The traders who reopened to provide fresh produce and takeaway meals to residents during lockdown, came together to agree on the three charities to make the donations to.

A total donation of £1500 has been split between three York-based charities. The money will go to help York Food Bank who provide emergency food supplies for those in crisis situations, York Against Cancer who offer care, support and advice to local patients and My Sight York, a charity working to help people with sight loss stay independent.

Shambles Market reopened to all traders in June with Make It York putting in place new processes and systems to ensure the safety of all customers and traders and aid with social distancing. Measures introduced include a new one-way system and re-configuration of the stall layout to improve the flow of customers and minimise disruption to traders. New signage and barriers have also been introduced into the space to aid with social distancing. The market space has also been brightened up and refreshed with new branded gable ends installed throughout.

Russell McCartney, Head of Commercial at Make It York, said: “During lockdown, Shambles Market continued to play a hugely important role in the local community – providing residents with a safe outdoor market space to purchase their essential fresh food. Make It York were keen to see how we could work with traders to support them during lockdown and waive stall fees – instead giving them the option to donate a proportion to charity. It is great to be able to help three fantastic local charities who do such important work – and we are delighted to be able to work with traders to give something back and support them in this way.

Now the market has fully reopened, we’ve had some fantastic feedback about the new systems in place and it has been great to welcome all the traders and customers back.  We plan to continue to working collaboratively with our traders to ensure Shambles remains a safe welcoming environment for residents and visitors to enjoy.“

Cllr Andrew Waller, Executive Member for Economy and Strategic planning, said:

“The Coronavirus pandemic has been tough for everyone, none more so than charities who have seen donations drop significantly, when they are needed now more than ever. It’s great to see that several stall holders who provided a great service for residents throughout this time have extended their generosity and donated they fees that Make It York waived to these great causes.

I hope that people will continue to support the market traders, and support local businesses where possible to repay their support to the community during Lockdown. As always It’s important we all do our part to ensure everyone’s health and safety and follow guidance for wearing face coverings, where possible. We also must be mindful that not everyone can wear a face covering and be respectful of this.”

For more information on the Shambles Market traders visit: and follow the Shambles Market social channels on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the latest updates.


Image: Shambles Market Traders: Christian (Taylormade), John (Sheila’s Fruit & Veg), Sophie (Na Na Noodle Bar), Martha (KREP), John (Mannion’s Fruit & Veg), Nikos (Stam & Maria’s)

For further information please contact:

Amy Goodman, Consumer Communications Manager


Notes to editors:

About Make It York

Make It York’s purpose is to develop and promote the city and its surroundings – nationally and internationally – as a vibrant and attractive place to live, visit, study, work and do business. Its mission is to grow the economic prosperity and wider wellbeing of York and its citizens. In practice, this means delivering a range of projects and programmes based around our four corporate strategic priorities.  These are:

  • City positioning and profile-raising
  • Inward Investment and network building
  • Ensuring an exciting city centre
  • Delivering the city’s ground-breaking Cultural Strategy

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