TRADERS at the newly-opened container market 'village' in Caerphilly town centre have spoken of their excitement on opening day. 

No doubt you will have heard a lot about Ffos Caerffili, the container-style market that has been waiting to open to the public for a number of months. 

The market is now home to a wide variety of independent traders and food vendors, and is designed to promote a real community vibe throughout. 

South Wales Argus: Ffos Caerffili has opened to the public todayFfos Caerffili has opened to the public today (Image: Newsquest)From the moment you enter the market, there is a distinct buzz of excitement and community in the air. Even from opening at 9am, there were queues down the road and dozens of people milling about.

This is something that delighted operator Grant Jones, who said: "We are hugely excited to share the wonders of Ffos Caerffili with all local residents.

“We've been working extremely hard with all businesses involved to present a great range of local traders and are thrilled that the space will soon become a vibrant and buzzing centre of quality goods, produce and services within Caerphilly.”

According to Steve Bines, a member of the operating staff, the aim of Ffos is to create a "village vibe" within the market. 

"We want it to be somewhere that people can come for a whole day out, not just shop - we have the space for them to socialise and eat of an evening too. 

"We're open to all sorts of ideas for new activities and workshops here."

The market is split in distinct areas: front garden, market, food court and workshop space, offering a "tranquil space" for  everyone. 

South Wales Argus: Sam Eastcott of Circular StudioSam Eastcott of Circular Studio (Image: Newsquest)Owner of clothing and wellbeing store Circular Studio Sam Eastcott has been astounded by the reaction of the public and her fellow traders to the business, which has only been trading since the start of the year, which has also recently been named as a finalist in the UK Start-up Businesses Awards in the health and wellbeing category. 

She said: "We were intrigued by the community feel being pushed here - we're looking to host some community workshops to help people understand where their clothes from soon. 

"This is our second shop - it's all been a bit of a whirlwind the last few months, but we are so excited to be here. 

"We already feel like part of a little family - all of the other traders are now our friends - and it's really important to all of us that we are  feeding that knowledge and talent from our area to ensure it continues."

South Wales Argus: Tom Williams of Lock Up Bottle ShopTom Williams of Lock Up Bottle Shop (Image: Newsquest)For Lock Up Bottle Shop owner Tom Williams, who quit his job to open  the business, the container market is a "really exciting" development. 

"The first reaction to us has been really positive. I think the finishing touches put on in the last few weeks have really brought the place to life."

South Wales Argus: Joe Carey of Joe's Plant PlaceJoe Carey of Joe's Plant Place (Image: Newsquest)Joe Carey of Joe's Plant Place, has opened his first permanent shop after being encouraged to do so. "There's nothing like this in Caerphilly, and people have been really supportive. I've got plans for live workshops on plant care too."

Craft shop Joy House Creations is one of the first places you find when you enter the market. Owner Bethan Davies has felt the "real buzz" of the community on opening day. 

She added: "It's really nice to be able to feel the community's support for so many independents. It seems like they are really keen to have something new to shout about in Caerphilly."

The crowning jewel of Ffos Caerffili is the food court, with a variety of cuisines available. One of the places welcoming people on Friday morning was Two Shot Social coffee shop, run by friends Ian Butterworth and Dafydd Carter. 

South Wales Argus: Dafydd Carter (left) and Ian Butterworth of Two Shot Social coffee shopDafydd Carter (left) and Ian Butterworth of Two Shot Social coffee shop (Image: Newsquest)

Mr Carter said: "The support has been incredible, more than we imagined. When we found out there was an opportunity to come here, we just jumped at the chance, and it's been lovely to welcome people today."

Mr Butterworth added: "We've been really impressed with how it all looks. We actually have two units here, one selling takeaway coffee and sandwiches etc, then upstairs we have a proper sit down breakfast, brunch, and lunch spot."

Cllr Jamie Pritchard was present at the soft opening, and said: “We really hope Ffos Caerffili will be a place that residents enjoy and visit many times over. A good mix of businesses and a positive, friendly vibe this morning. All the best to the traders!”  

Ffos Caerffili is opposite the castle on Park Lane, behind the main street, Cardiff Road, and will be hosting more launch events this weekend, with 28 different independent traders.