Goodbye Castle Emporium: the closure of another indie market and its small businesses

With the finalised closure of Cardiff’s Castle Emporium, what does the future hold for its small businesses?

small businesses upstairs in emproium
Castle Emporium housed several small indie businesses for the last 6 years (Source: Sian Hopkins)

Earlier this month, the shocking news that Cardiff’s beloved Castle Emporium would be closing, evicting the existing small businesses from their trading community.

With only 30 days’ notice, the shops featured in the Wombay Street indie market were informed they would have to relocate elsewhere.

The reason was revealed that ownership had decided to refurbish the indoor emporium to house food vendors, and put an end to the month rolling contract they had held with Castle Emporium management since 2015.

I asked one of the customers shopping at the Emporium, days before closure, how they had reacted when they first heard the news.

Max Crompton, 21, said: “It’s sad to see places like Castle Emporium being forced out because they are the special places that make the city feel different and unique compared to others.

Those kinds of places make it [Cardiff] more than just the same old highstreets.”

the small businesses featured in Castle Emporium
(Source: Sian Hopkins)

On the 13th of October all the shops’ social medias included a crowdfunder link to raise money towards relocating their businesses. 

The fund, which now has raised £1,500, demonstrated their perseverance to stay open writing: “We’re gutted about having to leave the Emporium building but we’re excited to make new homes and keep our businesses alive and kicking!” 

Some of the businesses have continued to update their followers and customers via Instagram and other social media platforms, on their plans after Castle Emporium shuts. 

Tropigaz plants however, revealed that although they had funding for their relocation, they ceased trading on the 23rd of October. 

Their final post on Instagram read, “I hope to have news on my new location next week,

“For now I just wanna highlight how special this place [Castle Emporium] is for me personally, for everyone who has their businesses here, and for many of you who visit.”