Chester market is thriving. There are two butchers you can purchase quality meat from, a fish monger (my go-to for quality salmon and tuna for some homemade sushi hmmm), a taco place, a couple Italian etablishments one that knocks out first class pizza and another fresh lasagne and delectable pasta. You can even find several cafes within the market that sell exceedingly good sandwiches and I mean great sandwiches, stuffed full of halloumi, and another cafe next to it serving up homemade bread topped with beetroot hummus and goats’ cheese.
But you can only find one Asian establishment within the vicinity. Try to open up another Asian food business within 50 meters of that place and you will be barred from entering. Never mind the fact that the products you offer bear no resemblance to each other. No, you simply cannot have more than one Asian establishment inside the market because evidently all Asian cuisine are the same. Because somehow bao buns are a duplicate of pad Thais and curries. Try convincing my 101-year-old Chinese grandmother that, she might beat you with a stick.
I think the word that we are missing here is ‘diversity’. Is it fair to let one business determine the fate of another business just on the grounds of nationality? Does one business get monopoly of an entire building simply because they were the first Asians in there? Is that considered a fair application process?
Call me naive but I genuinely thought the council would be fairer than that. I can understand discouraging another business entering the market with the same products, but simply barring another business from entering purely on the grounds of nationality is absurd, and I hate to use the word ‘discriminatory’ but it’s certainly beginning to feel like it. Perhaps it’s time management question their application procedures so that it is more inclusive of all diverse backgrounds?