At just 21 years old Mason Ross has opened a new cafe in Leicester Market, Whit’s Corner. Using fresh produce direct from market traders they’re a great new addition to Leicester’s food & drink scene and we caught up with Mason to find out more about life at Leicester Market and his plans for the cafe.
The new cafe at Leicester Market, Whit’s Corner, opened recently, how long has the new venture been in the pipeline?
Whit’s Corner was a very quick thing that happened for me. My mum owns the fruit and veg wholesale market at freemans common and I started helping her out there and ended up staying there full time, I loved it and the traders. Then a trader informed us that the cafe in town was available. I cant explain how much I wanted it and to cut a long story short I’ve now got the cafe and love every second. I look up to Gordon Ramsay a lot so I like presentation to look amazing and want my customers to be as happy as possible.
Do you work with suppliers from the market for your dishes at Whit’s?
Yes, Whit’s Corner relies on our amazing market traders for our produce. Without them our business would struggle a lot with getting fresh produce from such a short distance. I can always rely on our traders for the best of the best.
At just 21 years old how has the journey been to opening your own place?
Wow, I didnt expect to ever own a business at 21. My life has been a rollercoaster especially being so young! But I’ve got to say the journey I’m on now I’m absolutely loving it. Everyday I wake up excited to go and open up the cafe and socialise and create amazing food for our customers. I cant wait to see how many more ideas and bigger things we can do down here because right now I’m feeling so ambitious and want the very best!
Would you encourage other younger entrepreneurs to consider working alongside Leicester Market on events or business ideas?
Definitely, I think it’s so important to have such young people in the business and market trade. It’s not just a job, you grow your confidence, meet amazing people and get to run your own business. There’s so much variety down here its amazing and a brilliant opportunity to be down in the middle of it all. The atmosphere is great, this is what young people need. Knife crime and gang related incidents are so high right now, young people just need to be with amazing and real people like the people down here and enjoy life for how it should be. It should be about teamwork like down here at the market. It’s nice to be nice and help each other.
How do you find Leicester Market as a community of traders?
It’s like a big family, the amount of support I’ve received from traders has been great. I rely on them a lot for our fresh produce and they always supply the very BEST. Our traders have such big personalities it’s just a great place to be and I’m so glad to be a part of it.
Tell us some of your favourite dishes on the menu?
My favourite dish on the menu is our fish and chips. We’ve really knocked it up a few paces with our presentation and the quality of our food. Our best seller is probably our fresh pancakes, which are made from scratch. They can come in a variety of chocolate pancakes, original pancakes and our speciality raspberry pancake. The same goes for our full English, you get the best quality with the best presentation. If something is ever wrong I want to fix it or know why, so I won’t ever do it again. All of our customers deserve to be happy!
What do you think sets Whit’s apart from other places in the city?
I think what sets us apart from other places in the city is how young we are here and how ambitious we are. We are always looking at how to make things better and try to improve on everything so we succeed in everything we do. That even means finding the freshest food and creating the best atmosphere for ALL of our customers from any background. All are welcome and catered for with vegan and vegetarian options and more!
What upcoming plans do you have for the cafe?
We are always looking at new ideas, recipes, presentation and how to make the atmosphere a lot better at Whit’s Corner. It’s so important to us that every customer leaves happy and wanting to come back. As far as events, we are looking to have live musicians and serve our amazing food with a great atmosphere and live music.
“We are thrilled to have the enthusiasm of Mason and his crew on board and very excited about the new flavours and home cooked foods he is bringing to the market. It just goes to show, you are never too young to be a market trader and I would encourage anyone interested in starting their own business to get in touch with us here at the market.”
Adam Piotrowski, Leicester Market Development Officer
Whit’s Corner is open from 7am – 4pm Monday – Saturday and located within Leicester Market. To keep up to date with news from Whit’s Corner you can follow them on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat or visit the Whit’s Corner website.
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