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Go west young man

The innovative pop-up shop scheme operated by Waltham Forest Council in Walthamstow, Leytonstone and Chingford over the last couple of years has given local residents the chance to launch their business ideas free of charge.

Residents simply pitch an idea for a business and apply for temporary rent-free space in a town centre location to see how viable the idea proves to be. Councillor Clare Coghill, Cabinet Member for Economic Growth and High Streets, said, “Lots of budding entrepreneurs have taken advantage of the opportunity.

“The start-up costs of launching a business can be restrictive and knowing just how viable an idea might be is always going to be the acid test in terms of whether it can survive and grow into a going concern.”

Now one businessman who got his break in a pop-up shop has opened up just off Leicester Square. Hovig Yardim’s business, Massis Tea, now has a presence in the West End and looks set to go from strength to strength.

“Our stint in Hoe Street Central's pop-up shop in Walthamstow helped us shape our brand and image and we've since opened up our first cafe in partnership with MADD, right by Leicester Square station.

“Walthamstow's pop-up initiative gave us the chance to ‘test-run’ our product and marketing strategy, and without that incredible opportunity, we would be months behind on first hand research.”

A new array of businesses are taking up residence at the pop-up shop in Hoe Street, Walthamstow from Monday 22 September, and will be in situ right the way through until the end of May.

The range of businesses includes an independent bookshop, a florist and gift shop, a vinyl record shop, a renovated and recycled furniture shop and a vintage fashion outlet.

The Council is also considering applications from prospective business owners who would like to occupy the unit at 76 Old Church Road, Chingford. For more information about the businesses that will be featuring at the Hoe Street shop or to apply for a slot at the Old Church Road unit, go to the Council’s website at


Hovig Yardim launching his business, Massis Tea, at the Waltham Forest Council pop-up shop in Hoe Street, Walthamstow.

2. The Waltham Forest Council pop-up shop in Hoe Street, Walthamstow.

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